I knew going into this whole half-marathon thing that there was no way I was ever going to actually run the full 13.1 miles. Some of it will undoubtedly need to be walked.
And I am completely and totally okay with that.
I’m the woman who embraced coming in last at her very first race so I know the pride and dedication that comes from just crossing the finish line. So that’s my goal. To finish. To conquer those 13.1 miles at whatever speed, pace, and time it takes me.
But while I know that I’ll probably have to walk and am okay with that idea in theory, I’ve had difficulty applying it to my training. I think I feel like I should be able to run the whole thing and am disappointed when I can’t even run the entire length of all of my training runs.
I also think I had sort of lost a sense of why I wanted to complete a half marathon. So instead of seeing the training runs as steps taken to achieve that goal I saw them more as a chore, a means to an end. Something I was supposed to do because my training schedule said so.
Pace is also something I need to work on as well. Because I’ve spent the past few weeks viewing each training run as a separate entity and not part of a bigger whole, I haven’t really been thinking in terms of pace. That is, I’ve been thinking I have to run six miles today, that’s essentially a 10K when I should be thinking I have to run six miles today, which is less than half a half. Instead of seeing six miles as just six miles, I have to figure out how those six miles fit into the overall 13.1 and when I run treat them like I will on October 6th.
Today’s 7 mile training run will be the longest distance I have ever completed. Earlier in the week I was having a small freak out, questioning my decision to register, questioning my ability to finish. I slacked on my smaller runs this week which didn’t help. Part of it is that this is the point in my training where I’m going to have to start planning food choices while I run and that’s new territory for me. I eat before and after races, but none of my distances thus far have required fuel during.
So instead of retreating from the fear, being the librarian that I am I did research on both fueling and pacing. It’s a little overwhelming, especially the food choices. As it happens, at Monday’s Weight Watchers meeting I was given a sample of a 3 Points Plus trail mix granola bar that’s going with me along with some other things.
I know this is going to be a bit of an experimental process, finding what works best for me and when along the route it needs to be eaten. But I’m no longer freaked out about the process of running today’s seven miles or increasing mileage in the remaining few weeks of my training. I’m actually excited. I also know that the training plan is just that — a plan. It’s a guide, not a rule book. So, sure, I should try not to slack off anymore but if it happens the best I can do is just lace up those shoes the next day and try again.
Plus I really have to figure out how to carry my water bottle with me without getting annoyed by it. Hmmm….
What are your favorite fuel choices while running?
Love from the ashes,