I've run two half marathon's (The Army Run) but only ever trained for one. My first half marathon training plan was more about going the distance and being pleasantly surprised when I surpassed my finish goal. That training plan was marked by firsts, first 15km, first 16 km etc. It was a plan of learning just how far I could go. My second half marathon was essentially a training run in midst of my Marathon training plan. It was my last "long run" before 2 weeks of tapering for the Toronto Marathon. I ran it nursing an injury, and having not trained for a faster half distance. I PR'd that race with 1:56 and officially a sub 2 hr!
Last year I while training for May Race weekend, I was training for my first Marathon (I like to use caps on the word Marathon, I think it deserves it lol) and that again was about going the distance seeing just how far I could really go. Heck I didn't even run the full Marathon distance till race day, that last 10km was going to be a crap shoot in my mind. Funny enough, those last 10km on race day were my fastest because all my training came into play and was amplified by the years of emotion leading up to that day. My second Marathon I was dealing with an injury, and the training became about training smart and getting through the race. Training for my third marathon was about, doing what had become habit and keeping up with the long runs.
So now to be training specially for Half Marathon distance with a time goal in mind, its well very different. For starters every run, EVERY run has a pace goal. There are no "just go run and see how you feel runs". Correction, next week I get a 6 mile "easy" run! The first in 11 weeks. I get the nerves before my three weekly runs (Track Repeats, Tempo, and Long Run) like I do on race day. My tummy turns and I wonder can I do this? I recently moved myself up a level in the training program. My self talk has looked like this before every run: "ok just try, give it a shot, and worst case you go back to the old pace, or find a place in between the two." I give myself permission to ease off. But then I start running and I get close....I can see the finish line Race Day and I tell myself don't you dare give up! As much as I don't like the pressure I put on myself, nothing feels so good as meeting or better yet BEATING the pace requirement for that run. I don't always meet them...sometimes I miss a sprint by a little bit. But overall, I am doing it. I AM REALLY DOING IT! I can honestly say that this plan is pushing me harder then I ever would have pushed myself on my own. I'm excited to see what happens, God willing that I am in good shape race day and all goes well.
If all goes well...after Monday, we now know that things can horribly horribly wrong. I was shocked when I heard the news of Boston. SHOCKED. I hope its ok to say this but, when I heard of the school shooting I was HORRIFIED, SAD, MAD...all sorts of feelings...but I wasn't shocked. Sadly things like this have happened in our world. But this, the bombs going off at the Boston Marathon? Shocked me. Shocked me so much that I forgot my filter and exclaimed it out loud in front on my children. Who I then had to explain the reality that bad things do happen in our world. I remember the day when I was a kid and I heard something bad on the news and was crushed to learn that bad people did really exist. I remember being mad at my mom for letting me believe we were safe. I remember that day. I hope I did an ok job explaining things in a sheltered way to the kids. Doesn't help that Kasey said "but Mom you run marathons?" I hope I made her feel better. I hope I made myself feel better. I have been sad and off all week. I finished my tempo run on Thursday, proud of meeting a difficult run, and then found myself in tears on the couch. It has been an emotional week. I am thankful that there have been so many GOOD stories shared, stories of the human spirit, and humanity alive and well. These stories fill me up and make me want to try harder then ever to make my dreams come true.
So yes I took a little detour there...training for a half isn't nearly as easy as I thought it would be. But I am so very very thankful that I am able to do this. Don't take your blessings for granted.
Run Happy. Run Strong. Run because you can.
|Our little Barrhaven Run Club dedicating our 5km to remembering Boston.|