It’s official! Today I registered for the Smuttynose Half Marathon. I chose to wait until today to register for one reason alone: I’m broke and today is payday! So, now I’m financially locked in for the October 4 race along the coast of NH. After I registered for the event, this image popped up on the screen:
Yikes! Talk about using scare tactics to hock their training program! Thankfully I’ve been right on track with training so far. I ran my longest run so far (5 miles) in Central Park yesterday and it went much smoother than I expected. I’m by no means fast (10 minute miles…) but I’ve been consistent and so far I haven’t ended a run looking like the poor soul above. So I’ll keep chugging along.
After registering for the half, I began my search for a shorter run to do this month. I found and registered for the Achilles Hope and Possibility 5 Mile Run on June 28th in Central Park. The run is the exact loop I did yesterday in the park, so I felt that was a good omen. According to the website, the run “brings together athletes with disabilities and able-bodied athletes in a celebration of running”. The race was inspired by the book “I Am The Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility”, by Trisha Meili (check out the Runner’s World article here). The book is an account of how Meili was attacked while running in the Central Park over 20 years ago. I have a feeling the race is going to be an inspirational experience.
Shortly after registering for those two races, a friend emailed me and let me know that he had just registered for the Central Park Run 4 Mile Run on July 18. After checking my schedule, it turns out that July 18th was the only weekend all July that I was going to be in the city. So I decided to go for it, and charged my card without a second thought. Who needs rent money anyway?
After doing some online research on half-marathon training programs, I designed one for my race. Most plans I found were 8-12 weeks. Mine is 18 weeks. Basically I increased my mileage each week, with my longest run landing four weeks before the half marathon. I’m not sure if the plan is too intense, especially those last four weeks leading up to the race. I don’t want to burn out in those weeks.
Next week I’m going to Jack Rabbit to buy new running shoes. It looks like the staff there knows their stuff, so I plan on bringing along my training schedule to get their input. I’ll let you know what they say and post any revisions to my schedule if necessary!
I woke up this morning at 5:30am for my rainy run. I have no problem getting up that early to work out, but the thought of mucking around Central Park seemed too miserable to me. I haven’t had the chance/funds to purchase any “real” running clothes, so I would’ve had to run in a cotton ensemble which would have rendered me a drowned rat. So I hit the snooze and rolled back into bed.
Seeking to further justify my decision, I asked a friend (who also happens to be training for her second half marathon) if she runs in the rain. Her short answer: no. Basically she told me that once you run in the rain your sneakers will dry out, but they are never again the same. However, she said I should absolutely run at least once in the rain for the experience in case there is rain on race day.
So, no, today will not be my first rainy run. I’ll put that off for when I am better equipped to handle the elements. While the treadmill is not ideal, it will have to do today.
Me: “I think I’m going to run a half-marathon”
My friend: “Um, maybe you should try a 5k first?”
Yes, my (brutally honest) friend is right. I’ve never run in a 5k before, so maybe I should set my expectations a little lower. But that’s not really my style. I have a history of naïvely setting unrealistic goals and only after I’ve accomplished said goal do I realize “why did I think I could actually do that?!” It’s a pretty decent character flaw to have and now that I’ve recognized this flaw I’m choosing to use it to my advantage.
A number of factors led me to the decision to run the 13.1 mile race. I recently went through a difficult few months. My boyfriend and I of four years broke up and I was left pretty wrecked. At the time was 25 and I was still carrying around the “freshman 15 (*cough*25*cough*)” from college. My life revolved around my boyfriend and I lost my identity in the process. We have since reconciled and it turns out that those few months apart was thing that could’ve happened to me (and to our relationship).
During those months I was able to re-discover who I was as a person and pretty soon I was bit by the fitness bug. I took up boxing classes a few times a week, hit the gym and began eating super healthy. The pounds fell off. I felt great and I had so much energy I didn’t know what to do with it all! I actually looked forward to the gym. It was baffling to me, but I just went with it.
Fast forward to today: I’m bored. I’ve reached a good weight (although I’d like to lose another 5-10 more) and I need a new goal to keep my interest. Recently a friend of mine ran in a local half-marathon and I remember thinking “I could never do that”. The second that thought passed through my mind I knew I had stumbled across my next target.
I don’t know what I don’t know about running a half-marathon. Hopefully by October 4, 2009 I’ll have a better grasp on things…