training for a half marathon
One of my 2017 goals was to get back in shape. I’ve always been working out but after my second baby, my weight had climbed to completely new heights. I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes and I felt uncomfortable in my body. The worst part was that I felt weak, and low on stamina. I wanted to get my strength and energy back. The first three months I started to log my food intake and run twice a week in the morning. The runs were short, around 30 minutes in which time I managed maybe 3.5 km (2 miles). After three months I couldn’t see much progress. I decided to set some proper, big goals, and get on a program.
I'd signed up for a half marathon twice before in my life, but never actually ran it. I decided it was time to finally do it. In May I signed up for the Bristol Half Marathon, downloaded a training program and started to run a whole lot more. My aim has been to run three times a week in the morning, 30 minutes at a time, and a long run on a Saturday morning.
Yup, I’ve been getting up at 6am to run around the park while everyone else sleeps. I have been skipping my Friday glass of wine and going to be at 10pm so that I have the energy to run a 10K on a Saturday morning. I didn’t think I had it in me, but I’ve enjoyed it.
I’m not just jogging, I’m in training. Yeah, baby!
And just look at how beautiful the park is at 6.30am.
Today was a long run day. I ran for 90 minutes and almost 12 km. That’s the longest I have ever ran in my entire life.
Most of the time it was chucking it down with rain. My old foot injury was coming back. It hurt. But I was feeling wonderful. Invincible.
For the first time since my second baby I’m starting to feel like this when I run. Strong! Like I could run for however long I wanted. It’s a wonderful feeling. My legs can take it, and my lungs can take it. I find the right pace and I feel like I could just go on and on.
When I finished I felt completely the opposite. My stomach hurt. My legs were jelly. I could barely step on my bad foot. I felt sick.
After I had a re-hydrating drink, a shower, lunch and a nap, I started to feel better. But for the rest of the day I’ve been feeling tired, constantly thirsty and a little head-achey. I can’t wait to go to bed. (Is 9pm too early?)
It’s seven weeks until the half-marathon and I’m terrified. In those 7 weeks I will need to build myself up to be able to run almost twice as long as I did today. I don’t know if I can do it.
I’m also questioning whether this personal challenge is worth it at this moment. I have a lot on my plate right now, and having a health goal this straining and exhausting feels like a lot to add on top of everything. Maybe I should reconsider the sanity of this task.
But of course I’m not giving up to this little voice in my head. I was feeling strong, like I could go on forever, I want more of that! Giving up is not going to get me any more of that.
That’s how a good goal works. It motivates. It keeps me going. It reminds me why I go out with a sore foot when it’s raining cats and dogs. Every run is a win. Even a bad one will make me stronger.