Prepare for the most random, disorganized, chaotic gathering of my thoughts on half marathon training.
I was thinking a lot about our upcoming half marathon on yesterday’s long(ish) run and with 4.5 weeks left until we line up at the start line of my first half marathon ever I figured I’d write some of them down and share them with you.
Honestly, I’m kind of burned out. I feel like we started training too soon (we began in October) but at the same time I’m glad we began when we did because we were starting with pretty much zero base having just given birth and we knew that a majority of the training would take place in the winter and that we’d get snowed out or frozen out of a lot of runs (which turned out to be very true). I’m glad we established a steady base when we did and I’ve held on to a 6 mile easy run for months now. Yesterday we embarked on a 9 miler after 4 weeks off of long runs and it was surprisingly easy. Blew my mind but also made me feel more prepared for our race and proud of the time I’ve committed to training, even if I didn’t get in all my runs and even if it wasn’t always in the most ideal circumstances.
Still, 5 months of scheduled runs is a lot. I love running, don’t get me wrong, but I’m looking forward to being able to go for hikes and bike rides again. To not feel pressured to run a certain number of days a week and tackle a certain number of miles. I’m going to be excited to hit the open road again without a plan and just let my legs lead me. I’m excited to show Jackson the woods and break in our hiking pack. I’m excited to cross-train again without worry about how it’ll affect my training runs. I’m ready for more freedom when it comes to exercise.
However, I’ve gotten a lot out of half marathon training. I’ve learned that I can exceed my expectations and redefine my impossible. I never would have thought I could run 11 miles straight or run a sub 30 minute 5K, but I’ve learned that I not only can but I won’t die doing it. I’ve learned I’m stronger than I thought and that I can defeat the questioning voice in my head and break down my mental walls. It’s been so incredible to learn just how amazing my body is and to push it further than I ever have when it comes to running.
Scheduling a half marathon for early Spring was a great idea! While training during winter was difficult and sometimes impossible with a little one, having that goal in mind kept me active even on the coldest days when all I wanted to do was hibernate in my covers snuggling with Jackson. Instead, more often than not, I got out there and did it or I busted out some cross training in the living room. Having a focus in mind kept me active.
Bottom line: I am so glad I finally took the plunge and registered for my first half marathon and I’m incredibly excited to put my training to work and see where my hard work has gotten me. When I first started training I just wanted to make it to the start line. My next goal was to make it to the finish and my third was to make it in under 3 hours. Now I think I can beat that a bit and I have a goal time in mind (but won’t say it in fear of jinxing myself). I’ll feel proud to complete my first race with my husband by my side and to share the experience with him. I’m motivated constantly by being a positive role model for Jackson and my desire to embody the things I wish to teach him in life. But after March 16th expect more cross training and less scheduled runs on the blog.
I’m excited for the next chapter.