When I set a goal. No matter how big or small, I don’t give up. I do what it takes to get there. And so, the official training for my first Half Marathon has begun. The truth is, I don’t know what makes half marathon training different from my regular training. I feel like a rookie. I know I am a rookie. But I am going with what I know. And I know have what it takes. I just don’t know exactly how I will get there. Faster pace? Most definitely. Strengthening my core? Seems reasonable. And that’s all I’ve got so far. But no matter. This rookie is jumping in, feet first, and she will figure out the rest along the way.
My day started as they usually do coffee in hand and ready tackle the world. Before I could do any type of training, I was faced with what will surely be my first of many challenges to reach the finish line. Buying new running shoes. I know it sounds silly. But for me, it was a big deal. I have been putting if off and enduring uncomfortable shoes for almost a month. My old running shoes and I have been through so much together. I couldn’t stand the thought of letting them go. I wanted to run in them until the end of my time. But they just couldn’t live up to that kind of long-term commitment. Point being, I dreaded the thought of shopping for new running shoes. After trying on a few pairs, none of which ignited any spark of sorts, I headed to the boy’s department. Yes, the boy’s department. Just about 6 months ago I spent weeks looking online and elsewhere for black and white running shoes. By sheer luck, the boy’s department is where I found my old pair. And the pair before that. The thought of trying something new, made me feel anxious. So I bought the same ones as my old ones, and my older ones. New running shoes. Check. Off to the gym.
I settled in my usual work-out routine, only I added 5 lbs to my weights. The first round I felt great. The second round proved to be a little, well frankly f-ing miserable. I was sweating, it hurt and the weights were just getting heavier and heavier. It took everything I had to lift my arms over my head and I still had four machines to go. Quitting became a reasonable option. I had rationalized every last excuse to quit I had. Thankfully, my trainer had just finished training another client. I say “thankfully” only because I know the end result will be worth it. He came over; I rested for a moment while we caught up. He had some time between clients. Then it was all business. He pushed me through the last four machines like a boss.
I hated loved every minute of it. And I was so grateful when it was over. Only it wasn’t over. No. He managed to get 25 sit-ups, 25 burpees and 25 push –ups out of me. Not bad for only having to spend an hour in the gym. Only then, it was over. And I thanked him. I realized just how complacent I have gotten in the last couple months. I thought I didn’t “need” him anymore, except for a check-in session here and there. I was wrong. I had forgotten how f-ing hard going to the next level of things was. And I need him to push me past my limits. So despite my slight irritation he doesn’t seem to understand share my loving relationship with running; he does understand how to make me stronger. This in turn, will transform me into an even better runner. With bigger guns than I have now. Score. I will be seeing him again every other week. Official training day 1 in the gym check. Off to go for a run.
In hind sight going for a run after the gym, was probably not the best idea. But I went anyways. I ran my creek route. Only instead of coming back by the fire department (bummer right?!) and along the busy street way, I double backed on the other side of the creek. Its way more isolated, hence why I didn’t go that way before. And there is no fire department to stop by should I feel like I can’t make it. But guess what?! I know I can make it now. And my new route adds over a mile to my run. And I know I can make the extra distance too. It was hot and windy. This was fine, until on the way home, when I was running against the wind. Weighing only a buck 140, the wind threatened to blow me away. I just didn’t have the extra oomph in me; I walked and ran the rest of the way home.
Overall it was a painful satisfying first official day of training. My arms and legs still feel like overcooked spaghetti noodles. But it will all be worth it. This evening I plan to go for a leisurely run, and then it’s back to my official training tomorrow. I just have to keep reminding myself. Its only one hour of my time. Every other day. Six hours tops, a week in the gym. Running hours do not count. I love those hours. I have been here before. It’s does get easier. I get stronger. And the end result is worth it. Although there isn’t really an end. It’s hard, it gets easier, I get complacent, I step up my work-out. And there is a new end. Rookie half marathon training has officially begun. I am sore as heck. I am still going with what I know. I will learn more on the way. But I do trust I am heading in the right direction.
Until next time, always be true to yourself and think like a boss!