I find that there isn’t a lot to do while running. You’re not REALLY listening to the music. You don’t REALLY enjoy any scenery. Not when training for an event anyway. Your first event of this magnitude. It’s all effort and work and concentration. And thinking. Lots of thinking. Thoughts like:
- What is it about the 2 mile point that creates the urge to use the bathroom?
- I’ve driven this road a hundred times and never noticed this stupid hill.
- What street is this? Oh crap.
- Not this song again.
You get the idea. Hey, I never said deep thinking. I am, after all, a male.
The event I’m training for is a half marathon that is part of the Baltimore Running Festival on October 10th, 2009. I’ve never run 13.1 miles. Several months ago I built up and did 10 miles on a treadmill – all flat at a nice slow pace. That gave me the confidence to register. I looked at lots of training programs, including some given to me by friends that have completed multiple marathons. I generally follow the program suggested on the Marathon Rookie website. Following this program I built up again and successfully completed 10 miles – this time doing it outside…heat, humidity, hills, flying cigarette butts, hills, charging deer, hills and all. Oh, and did I mention hills? (Check out this short video clip: Hill.)
Now we enter crunch time. The event is roughly 5 weeks away. The weekly runs are getting longer. The weekend long runs are…well…long. I started my program early (enthusiasm? insanity? eh.) which has become a bit of a blessing. This past week and weekend were full of…life. I just didn’t have the time and energy to train like I needed to. Being a couple weeks early is now very handy. I can take this week to refocus, log the miles, and up the training intensity. As I prepare to do that, here are a few things I am learning from this process. In no particular order whatsoever…a few thoughts…
- The human body is simply amazing.
- I had no idea just how much sweat I could produce.
- Slow the pace if necessary…just…don’t…stop.
- A positive mental attitude and thoughts are crucial.
- Spending any energy on negativity proves toxic eventually.
- There are going to be bad runs. Briefly evaluate, get rest, run again.
- There is strength in running a new route, and in running a familiar one. Learn how to utilize each to your advantage.
- Training for a distance event takes the support and encouragement of your family and friends.
The event is not here yet. I am still preparing. It’s fun, difficult, challenging, depressing, frustrating, exhausting, and exhilarating. Is there something you’re considering? Something you want to try? All I’m saying is if a 30-something with a family, a full-time job, and stumpy legs can train and complete 10 miles…and keep training with the goal of completing 13.1…
Idea: Think smaller thoughts. Think less. Do more.