From Zero to 10 miles
When I signed up for this half marathon I remember thinking well right now I have no work life balance and at least this will give me something to talk to about. Little did I know that it would take over my life :) The funny part is while I am not sure like I feel like I have a life, I do have something besides work to talk about. And when I tell people I am running a half-marathon most people are responding with compliments and amazement. I am not particularly adept at accepting compliments, especially as most of them relate to my “discipline.” Hi have you met me?? I have no will power (just stick something sweet near me and see or give me the remote to my Netflix *that’ll show you*). I think for me it is simply about a decision. A decision to show up.
Some how between when I made that initial decision, flipped the switch and started on the 14th of March to now I have managed to finish Month One of my training plan to the letter. And I have to say I am a little bit more than surprised at myself. I tracked myself, and found out I REALLY like doing that. Tracking my progression makes my inner control freak very happy. I can see what I am doing and where I have gotten better. It makes me feel better to see that I am running faster, even if only by a few seconds. Leaves me delusional enough to think I might even run the whole thing… And it also gives me a nice little list proving I showed up for each and every thing when and how I was supposed to (with one shuffle of the schedule- which promptly taught me… that while I like to think of myself as flexible, I don’t like shuffling up my schedule. I want stability and continuity in my training thankyouverymuch…). When I took the pressure off myself to be perfect and pushing it immediately and only focused on showing up each and every day to be present and check the training off the list… I kept it up!
And while I have my share of runs where *DAMN* I am S-L-O-W and dragging along a pair of lead legs behind me… The nice thing is that by the end of the run, even when I am not particularly speedy, I can notice that I feel stronger sometimes even a little bit leaner. And I can see where I am pushing and growing and where now I can start to notch it up. I am starting to get competitive with myself, the pedometer and the clock. Last Friday I ran for 35 minutes straight and did a 3 mile run in under 40 minutes. Which might not be that speedy, but it seems being angry pushed me through a barrier (running without walking for over 30 minutes) and I have to admit I am fairly impressed with myself.
Despite my creaks and twinges, I am surprisingly focused on the benefits I feel. Must say that the best benefit comes from my long runs on Sunday. For some reason I find it relatively easy to wake up and run on a Sunday morning (now that all my long runs are 5+miles) if I know there is a brunch afterwards… :) And while I know I need to eat more salads, and am particularly aware that long run days are not free-for all’s… After my last 5mile run I was damn happy to have a plate of carbonara.
Funny enough, when I tell people I am training for a half marathon after the “WOW” comes the “you must be tired.” But the most difficult part hasn’t been running, yoga, PT, swimming or any “exhaustion” arising from those activities… I haven’t flopped from any of them; I haven’t really even felt all that sore. Actually I have to admit to feeling a bit gypped. I added all this activity, tried to do somewhat better with my food and I haven’t lost a single pound or gotten that endorphin high I hear people talk about. And while I don’t need to make Tigger look like he was on downers or lose lots of weight, I won’t lie either. I would like to find my abs again by the end of this (and I am going to have to loose weight for that) plus I would like a bit more spring in my step!
What it really has been the most difficult part is the whole shebang. Training compounded by living in NYC and then finding a way to have a life while doing all of this… *THAT* is tiring. Every time I get an invite to something or see something that interests me, I kind of go into overwhelm. How do I manage? How do I overcome the inertia? How do I make sure I get enough sleep? How to I keep motivated? How do I balance? All of this is requiring me to improve my time management skills, actually do my work when I need to, and commit to myself. And I am starting to think that *that*, that is a hell of a lot harder than running the 13.1 miles. Probably worth it though :)