‘Cause I’m Only Half Crazy: Part 2
I tossed and turned most of the night, only half asleep and dreaming (or having nightmares) of Race Day, still a week away. Admittedly, I am growing more and more anxious with each approaching day.
According to my twelve week training program, here is about what my schedule looked like. (I did not follow the original program exactly, though it was my guide. I rested in between and also did 1-2 days of weights each week in addition to my cardio.) When I began, I would say I was an intermediate runner, having run several 5Ks and 10Ks. I am in my final week, with the race this coming Sunday.
Week One – 2 mi. run, cross training, 3 mi. run Week Two – 2 mi. run, cross training, 4 mi. run Week Three – 2.5 mi. run, 3 mi. run, 5 mi. run Week Four – 3 mi. run, 6 mi. run – present max distance Week Five – 3 mi. run, cross training – recovery week Week Six – 4 mi. run, cross training, 8 mi. run – increase max distance Week Seven – 4 mi. run, 4 mi. run – recovery week Week Eight – 3 mi. run, cross training, 10 mi. run – increase max distance Week Nine – 3 mi. run, 4 mi. run – recovery week Week Ten– 3 mi. run, 4 mi. run, 10 mi. run – present max distance Week Eleven – 3 mi. run, 4 mi. run. – recovery week Week Twelve – 3mi. run, 3 mi. run, 13 mi. RACE – increase max distance
If I were to summarize my training I would say I aimed for two short runs and a long run each week. I am thankful to have had a training buddy to hold me accountable; it is both our first half marathon. In addition to my exercise training, I have also trimmed up my eating habits by drinking more water, eating healthier, and drinking protein shakes after my long runs.
I want to say that I am sick of running and cannot wait for the race to be over with; but really I think I am just ready to have reached my goal and move forward. I am terrified of the race route, having never run it before, and I am even more terrified of the dreaded mile nine hill. Also it will be the first time I have ever run 13 miles, which will be the first race I have not practiced the total distance before (though more seasoned runners assure me this is normal). Not knowing what the weather is going to be like, where it will be warm or cool, windy or sunny, is also adding to my nervousness.
More than anything, I don’t want to let myself down. I have been training for months and put a lot of time and energy into this aspiration, and most of all I really want to enjoy the race, not just finish. I want to walk away inspired and motivated, not exhausted and discouraged.
Let’s just say I have had a bad race experience in the past. It was my first 10K, and I thought I was ready for it, but I wasn’t. I finished, and with decent time too, but the route was so much harder than I had anticipated. It was mentally one of the hardest physical endeavors I have ever experienced (if you know what I mean?).
I have learned by experience a few things over the last several weeks that I think will aid me this Sunday. Firstly, I can vouch for the benefit of starting off a long run at a slower pace, conserving energy and getting through those first three miles is key. Secondly, I have experience the advantage of consuming an electrolyte infused drink (such as Gatorade) during a long run in addition to good old faithful H20. And lastly I have learned that for me, breaking up my runs into smaller runs helps mentally but also physically when I take small breaks to bring my heart rate back down (i.e. focus on a 3 mile run, walk 30 seconds, repeat 4+ times).
Check out the first part of, ‘Cause I’m Only Half Crazy.