I don’t really know what I was thinking signing up for a half marathon 6 1/2 weeks away when I hadn’t ran more than 5 miles since my 1st half marathon in April…and on top of that I will be going with two Boston Qualifiers!
I began with some speedwork last week when I realized I was going to get to go. This race is one that I had coveted since I saw the post on Active.com about it. I had tried to find some fellow ladies to run with me but to no avail. It seems hard to find people that want to run these. I get it, if it were easy everyone would do it…but it’s not. It takes hard work and a lot of discipline. So why do I want to do it? The answer is easy…for the sense of accomplishment and inspiration. The first half I ran was the Country Music Marathon in where else but Nashville. It is part of the Rock and Roll Marathon series. These races feature bands along the course to sing you to victory, as I like to think 🙂 All along the course there are spectators who are cheering and holding up signs. I felt like a rockstar running that race with all of those people yelling for me! It was definitely one of the most inspiring things that I have ever done in my life. That race I ran just to finish but it felt sooo good when I did. I did have a time goal but did not make it and I am very competitive. It hurt my spirit a little bit but I did have a major knee injury at the time and only missed my goal by 10 minutes.
So this time I am going to take care of myself and make sure I go in injury-free. I will try to break my PR (personal record) by 40 minutes. I honestly think I can do it. I have been running for a solid year and have built myself up (I think and hope). So on to speedwork, which I did not do the first go-around. To be honest, it has always kind of scared me and intimidated me. BUT if you want to get better you have to push boundaries so that’s what I’ll do. My first time felt awesome! I don’t know if it will be like that from hereafter but I sure hope so. I warmed up for 5 minutes. After the warm-up, I started my intervals of 400 meters at as fast as I could go. I took one minute breaks between each interval. I started out thinking I would only do 4 intervals but I just felt like running (Forrest Gump, anyone?) and ended up doing 6 instead. Then, the cool-down. After that I took two days off from running (per Hal Higdon’s training plan). I did Yoga the first off-day, Friday, and did nothing on Saturday except work. Yoga really helps me to center myself and not to mention the amazing stretching it does for my legs.
Then comes Sunday, my first long run of this training. I had went in hoping to do 7 miles but ok with 6, considering my mileage at this point. I don’t really like to run in the cold so I hadn’t really been racking up the mileage. I decided to do my run at the bridge mainly because it doesn’t have intersections like road running does. I wanted to run straight through because I knew that if I stopped I might not make it the whole 7. I really don’t want to lose my motivation, especially knowing how close the race is. I drove to the bridge, which I know is a solid 5 miles out and back, and went one mile further so I could add that to my distance and make it 7. I don’t know what I was thinking. The first part of the bridge is KILLER! It is so steep! I was afraid I would never be able to keep my pace and keep my legs injury-free so I slowed down at the beginning. I made up for this time on the downwards. You have to understand once you get down…you have to go back up. The second time up was easier, actually, from the other side. It is a longer ascent but it isn’t as steep. I consider myself an endurance runner rather than a speedy runner. I get better as the run goes on so by mile 2-3 I am usually feeling great but at mile 1 I sometimes want to stop. I am very happy with the way the ran went. My only hope is that I can keep it up and make progress. AND that my knee behaves 🙂 Thanks for reading…I know it was long but I had a lot to say.