Lately I have been feeling a little discouraged with my half marathon training. As my Facebook posts have indicated, running Colorado is so difficult. I am able to get to four miles, but I have to stop a few times because I just do not feel like I have the endurance to not rest for a minute or so. My half marathon is exactly five weeks from today and I haven’t felt ready. I don’t really know what ready feels like, but four miles at five and a half weeks out (as of Thursday) didn’t feel ready. Four miles really isn’t a bad distance, but I knew I needed to be much further along in my training than I was. Four miles is great, but what about those other nine+ miles I’d still have to do? There have been times where I thought, “There is no way I am going to be able to run 13 miles!”
Somewhere deep inside of me, I have actually thought of just not doing the half. It would just be my $200 contribution to Disney, with nothing to show for it. In my right mind, I know that isn’t an option. First of all, I am cheap; if I pay for something, I am going to get something out of it and I am not about to waste $200. Second of all, I want to prove to myself that I can run a half marathon. The bragging rights will be worth it! Finally, when I registered for the Disney half, I also bought a Disney half commemorative pin. I am a geek when it comes to Disney pins and I want to be able to wear that thing with pride!
Then today happened. I ran four miles on Thursday, and felt great, but not so great that I wanted to run anything further than four miles. Today I tried really hard to talk myself out of running, but I knew I needed to do it. I told myself on Thursday that at some point this weekend I would do seven miles. It is one thing to say something and another to actually do it. And today I really didn’t want to run. But I got bored and I thought to myself that I would just go and do two miles. Two miles would be quick and painless and better than nothing. So I got up, got dressed, and laced up. I ran on the treadmill because it is just too hot and humid to run outside.
I started running and actually felt a lot better than I thought I would. Two and a half miles came and went and I wasn’t ready to stop so I told myself, “ok, self, just get to four miles”. Four miles came, and then five. By the time I got to five miles, I felt so great that there was no way I was stopping. If I can do five, what is two more? So I did it, with the help of some really great running music. Every time I run, my goal is to run each mile in twelve minutes or under. That isn’t fast by any means, but I am looking for distance, not time. And less than twelve minutes is a pace I feel is good for me and something I can do for a half marathon. I am not trying to be the fastest chick out there, because anything I do on this half marathon course will be a PR for me and I am the only one that matters in my mind. Surprisingly every mile was actually less than 11:30 with my last mile the fastest at 9:56. Weird, right? It completely blows my mind that my last mile was actually my fastest!
After getting to seven I really honestly felt like I could have kept going, but I didn’t have anymore water, so I decided to call it good. Seven miles was a huge accomplishment and is the longest I have run at a single time without stopping in my entire life. I mean – who am I fooling? Seven miles is the longest I have ever run with OR without stopping in my entire life. It doesn’t matter though. I am completely confident that I am much more ready for this half marathon than I thought I was just three hours ago. After seven miles I didn’t die, and I was over half-way through what I will experience in five weeks. I am so excited that in five very short weeks I will run my first (hopefully of many) half marathons.
The best thing about running and burning all those calories is the meal afterwards. So now I will anxiously await the pizza that is soon to be delivered to my hotel room.