Happy Monday! Sorry for not posting a meal plan this week; I realized I needed a technology-free weekend. And I admit, it felt good to unplug. I need to do that more often.
I thought today I’d provide an update on my half marathon training, since I have 4 weeks to go until the Baystate Half Marathon.
But I have a confession to make: I’m not feeling my training. At all.
I don’t know if it’s because the novelty has worn off, now that I’ve conquered this distance before? When I was training for my first half in the spring, I felt incredibly excited and proud when I began hitting PDRs (personal distance records). 9 miles, then double digits, and finally 13.1 on race day.
Or maybe it’s because my goal for my first half was simply to complete the race without stopping? No time goals; all I wanted was to cross that finish line in one piece and call myself a half marathoner.
Since I accomplished those goals – and came within 4 minutes of a sub-2:00 race – I gave myself a rather ambitious target this time around to finish in just under 2 hours, which means running at about a 9:04 pace. But I’m beginning to think that is unattainable.
Instead of feeling anxious for my long training runs, I kind of dread them. I haven’t been sticking as closely to my training plan (here’s a link) as I know I should be (and like I did back in the spring). And my pace and splits have been really, really slow.
And truthfully? I’m not really enjoying myself.
The optimistic part of me is hoping that the crisp fall weather will be the proverbial kick in the pants I need to rev it up a notch or two over the next four weeks. One positive sign? I had a pretty decent long run yesterday, although I decided to do just over 10 miles instead of my planned 12 miles.
But see, this is what I’m talking about. I know I should have done the 12. There was really no reason why I couldn’t do the 12. I had the time. I felt fine. I just didn’t want to.
I don’t get it.
Either way, I am going to try and push those negative thoughts aside and focus on the positives. I discovered a new route that I really liked that had a little bit of everything: rolling hills, a couple of killer hills and plenty of straightaways.
Also, I felt pretty good the whole time — and my times are getting closer to where I need them to be if I have even the tiniest chance of getting that sub-2 half marathon time. (Check out mile 2!)
For some reason, the final time got messed up on my Garmin, but I finished in just about 1:33, for an average pace of about 9:20. Which is nearly identical to my spring half marathon pace.
And I was pleased to note that most of my slower miles – particularly miles 3, 5 and 6 – correlated to some of the steeper climbs.
Anyway, I’m sorry for all the boo-hoo, pity party talk this morning. I’m sure part of this sounds kind of ridiculous (although if any other runners can relate, I’d love to hear it!). But I want to be truthful with you, and I don’t want to give the impression (like some other bloggers do) that running for me is all sunshine and roses. Because it’s not. It’s hard.
Actually, I think running, for me, is more like a rollercoaster ride. Some days you’re coasting downhill, screaming with glee and excitement and pure joy, your adrenaline pumping and a smile spread across your face.
And other times it’s like that gradual but steep uphill, where you hear the ominous clang-clang-clang as you sloooooowly inch your way up and it takes forever until you reach the top.
I think I’m on that uphill right now. But you know what they say? What goes up must come down
Weeks until half marathon: 4
Next race: Milford Road Race and Walk 5K (Sept. 21)
What is your relationship like with running? Is it a love affair? A love-hate relationship? Or are you on the rollercoaster with me?