Friday, April 4, 2014

So I'm really doing this...13.1 & 26.2.

I've been running for a year and four months. In that time I've done about 13 races ranging in mileage from 5k to 9 miles. I blogged quite a bit during that first year. My first running blog can be found HERE. That blog is full of posts about my successes and failures with running, weight loss, and trying to build some upper body strength.

Now I find myself in a new stage of being a new runner: the marathons. My first half marathon (13.1 miles for non runners) is coming up in 22 days. For the first time since December, I feel ready for it. I managed to run (and walk some of the awful hills) 12.5 miles last weekend. That 12.5 miler was the most painful thing I've done to this point in my training. My legs were screaming with pain and exhaustion. I couldn't fathom why I would want to put myself through this again. And then the next day I wanted to do it again!

Runners are a masochistic bunch and they have somehow converted me into it as well.

So last night I found myself registering for this:
Yeah. My first FULL marathon. In October. In good ol' PA. Running the same streets my dad did, even though he told me not to. My dad knows first hand how painful a marathon is, and is very experienced with the physical and (mostly) mental strength you need to get through it. In a way, I want him to run it with me. On the other hand, I'm more worried about what would happen if he did. I'm sure he can do it if he fully commits to training this summer. Training for a marathon is rough. And slightly mental. Either way, I know he'll be damn proud of me for dragging my booty out of bed at 4 am on a Sunday morning to catch a bus in Scranton to the starting line. And I have to pay him back for all of the times I hugged him as a little girl right after a marathon and he was so sweaty (and slightly smelly)! Watch out dad, you're first on my hug list!

Training has been great the past 2 weeks. I'm finally getting back into the swing of things after the less-than-stellar winter training. This week is recovery week from last week's huge 12.5 miler. My long run this week was only 7 miles and I did a 2 mile tempo run and a 4 mile hill training today. One of the neighborhoods by our place has the BEST hills. They hurt and are hella steep, but slightly sore legs are worth it now if they are going to be stronger later.

In order to fund my awful habit, I find myself employed at a local running store. I adore the company because it is still small and serves a niche market. A niche market I am also a customer in. During training I learned so many things about shoes and gear. In the future I will lecture about the importance of multiple pairs of training shoes and other things, but for now you are spared. After trying to figure out what I want for a career, this seems to be a wonderful answer that will let me not only keep running, but help others learn a love for this crazy, painful, awesome sport. We'll see.

On the weight loss end, I've given up for the most part. I'm just trying to control portions and eat foods that will help me get through and recover from training. I'm done obsessing about food. And I'm sure training will take a few pounds off, especially when I'm running 14, 15, 16, 17+ miles for a long run.

There you have it! Welcome to the crazy training journey to my first 26.2! I hope someone sticks around to read this and I really hope I can inspire women (and men) who think they are too fat to run to get out there and do it! I'll drag this muffin top over the finish line no matter what!

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