My half marathon training has spanned two different ages for me (I turned 28 on Monday!) and we’re closing in on the last stretch!
Tanna and I ran 12 miles (our longest) on Sunday. I was still 27 at the time and it was the hardest run I’ve ever done. At about the eight mile mark I had a high interest in starting our cool down walk and then with about a mile to go I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. Actually, that’s a lie, I knew I’d make it but I just started feeling it. The run was painful.
We decided it must have been the hills on this 12 mile run. Last week we ran a completely flat route (the indoor track) and the 11 miles wasn’t too bad. This week we ran the roads of Newburgh, Maine and faced a monster of a hill around mile seven plus several other little guys. The toughest hill, however, may have been the short downhill during our eleventh mile.
Ya, downhill. Have I mentioned yet that I have a slight, comical fear that at some point during the long runs my legs will stop working and I will somersault to a stop in the ditch? Well, I think of that possibility often and it almost became a reality on the last, fairly aggressive, downhill. I even told Tanna, “Be careful,” because I didn’t want the both of us to start rolling. But, since this blog didn’t begin with a picture of me in a hospital bed, you can be sure we made it safely down that hill and finished the 12 miles.
I’ve decided this week that my favorite thing about this training is that I’m not changing my life for it. I don’t want to. I want to run this but I’m not looking to put my life on hold to train. I still eat all of the sweets I want, have a drink once in a while, and just enjoy being young (yup, young).
I celebrated my birthday with family and friends starting on Friday and lasting until Tuesday night. Best birthday of my life and yet I was still able to get all of the runs in. Case in point: Friday night I drank more than I have since the summer, went to bed at midnight on a pull out couch, was woken up by the cutest four-year-old I know at 7am, and ate eggs and cake for breakfast but STILL ran the four miles for that day and 12 miles the day after.
I’ve read that it takes 21 days or 66 days to form a habit. Either way, I started this training at the end of January and it’s definitely become a habit.
Don’t let this running take over your life. I’ve made some small sacrifices but I refuse to not do something I want to just because I have to run the next day. I lived that in college (“I can’t, I have basketball) and I don’t plan on doing it again. Enjoy every moment as it comes.
Be careful on down hills. Somersaulting down those doesn’t sound like a good idea.
Tanna got me a professional massage for my birthday (among other things) and I think it’s been helpful. I got it on an off-day of running and it was deep! I laid there while she was working on my legs and feet trying my best not to tighten up or yell, “stop!” because I’ve heard that working hard on muscles that are tired is beneficial. So, I took it like a champ and I think it’s made a difference in the past couple days. My legs aren’t as sore as usual and my last two runs (a four and a five-miler) have been good.
Drink lots of water!!!! I think we were dehydrated after our 12 mile run and it wasn’t a pleasant rest of the day.