I’m over the half-way point in my half marathon training and it has been very emotional so far. I recently wrote about week 5 and having a hard time with the 5-mile run. I’m now in week 7 and just when I thought that the 5-mile run was bad, I found myself beating myself up over a silly 4.5 mile run on Tuesday. It was hot, despite being late October, and dark out, and this was the first 4.5-mile run so my route changed and a took a wrong turn which threw everything off. I ended up walking half of it out of frustration from all of those things. I was angry that it was still hot out, angry that it was 6:45 PM and dark, and angry that I took a wrong turn, and once I started walking, I was angry that I began walking. I had a great (for me) pace over the first mile and then I blew it and began to walk. I started to run again, and then walked some more, and ran, and walked and so on. My time hasn’t been that bad since week 1 of training. Once I finished the dreaded 4.5 run/walk, I walked in the house and Nick asked me how my workout went. I immediately started ranting, much like the rant above. Nick gave me a huge hug despite the fact that I was covered in sweat. I shed 1 tear as he reassured me that I was doing great and that I’ll do awesome at our 10K race this weekend and the half marathon in December. He’s right. I’ve been very hard on myself for no real reason other than to be hard on myself. I know it’s really hard to let go of those feelings, but I do need to keep reminding myself that I’m doing great and it’s not the end of the world if I don’t out-run myself on each run. The whole point to signing up for the White Rock Lake Marathon was to accomplish one of my items on the “DFW-To-Do-Before-I-Move” list. I never set a time limit or said I had to run at top speed. I put it behind me for the night and got some sleep.
I got up Wednesday morning for a morning run since I had plans after work. Wednesday was a 3-mile run; the new short run of the week. (Oh, I will miss the 2-mile runs. They were so simple- just run from our place to the highway sound barrier wall and back. 1 mile there, 1 mile back, 1 road, all in a residential neighborhood.) I was determined to not give up this time. And I didn’t. In fact, I had a great run with my best mile yet! I knew a good, strong run would lift my spirits.
So here I am. It’s now Thursday and I have another 4.5-mile run to do this evening. The temperature dropped significantly from Tuesday. What was 88 degrees then is now 56 degrees. Rain has been threatening all day, but I haven’t seen a drop yet. I’m really hoping it can hold off until later tonight as I’d much rather run outside that go to the gym and run on the treadmill. I’ve decided that I’m not going to do the original 4.5-mile run that I mapped out for Tuesday as I’m afraid I’ll take a wrong turn again and curse the run to be horrible again (although, lesson learned- the fact that I got out there and did a 4.5-mile run/walk is something to be proud of as it’s something not everyone can do). I will be running my regular 4 mile run and loop back to start it again, but just do 0.5 miles to finish up. Simple enough.
So all this talk about the up’s and down’s of weeks 7 of half marathon training beings me to my sudden- and not set in stone, yet- decision to tack 11 more weeks of training onto my half marathon training and run in the Austin Marathon on February 19th. Check out the LiveStrong Austin Marathon website here. Back in July and August when I was thinking about running the White Rock Lake Half Marathon, the thought of a full marathon scared the heck out of me. To be honest, it still does! I thought I could try for a full marathon in April here in Dallas, but I’ve heard that the spring marathon is nothing like the Run The Rock- White Rock Lake Marathon and I want my first (yikes!!) marathon to be one that has a lot of excitement around it. I decided to branch out of Dallas and searched Austin. Low and behold, the Austin Marathon almost fits perfectly into my training calendar when using Hal Higdon’s marathon training schedule. If you are looking for any sort of running training programs- 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, etc, check out his website. I’ll be doing the Novice 1 training program with the addition of strength training, however, I’ll be picking it up at week 8- the Half Marathon and adding 1 extra week in to get me to the Austin Marathon on February 19th. I’ve been using his Novice 1 half marathon training program, which I modified for my schedule, as I posted earlier on and overall, it’s been a great experience, despite the emotional rollercoaster! Now, like I said, nothing is set in stone for Austin Marathon yet. I’m still very nervous about it, but I know it will be a great experience and a huge accomplishment! What do you all think- who ever is out there reading this- am I totally nuts? For now, I’m going to get through the 4.5-mile run this evening with hopes that the looming rain holds off!