After doing my longest run ever Sunday (14 miles), my legs were feeling a little stiff & tight yesterday. I decided to take Dixie for a short, slow run to loosen up so I could do some good stretching. We ended up doing 2.3 miles around town. I didn’t run with Dixie at all last week because I did my runs right after work without coming home first or at the track. She was sooooo excited when I got her harness out.
It was over 80 degrees, so we got our first taste of summer running. The forecast here in NC says 80’s for the foreseeable future, so I’m assuming my half marathon will be pretty hot. I’m hoping for a cloudy day!
Sun’s out, tongue’s out!
After our run, Dixie wanted to help me with my ab workout. AKA she wanted to lay on top of me and lick all the sweat off my face.
With my first half marathon just 12 days away, I feel like I’ve gotten the hardest part of my training out of the way. When I started my training plan, the goal was to run the half marathon in under two hours. Then I changed that goal to 1:55. Now I’m shooting for 1:50. I’ve changed so much during my training, but I’ve also learned some big lessons about running that I want to share:
1. You are capable of more than you think. When I started training in February, I couldn’t imagine running 14 miles. At that point I could do about 5-6 miles. On Sunday, I ran 14 miles with ease. I changed my way of thinking so I only focused on the next long run, not the end goal. When I broke it down into “I just ran 6 miles, I can run 7,” then 8, then 9, then 10, each week’s goal became more realistic. As I tackled each long run I gained more and more confidence, which motivated me to work harder every week.
2. Stay focused, but don’t beat yourself up. It’s not the end of the world if you miss a workout. As long as you stay committed and don’t miss a full week of workouts, you are going to be fine. It’s crucial to have a training plan, but use it as a guide. Focus on the big milestones and don’t sweat it if you miss a short run during the week.
3. You can’t eat EVERYTHING. On my long run days, it’s like I can’t possibly eat enough food to feel full. Burning 1,500 calories in 2 hours will do that you. However, I’ve learned that I’m not invincible when it comes to fatty foods. I’m a lover of cheese, butter, sweets and beer. These things are fine, as long as they are in moderation and don’t make up 100% of your diet. With two weeks to go, I’m really focusing on nutrition that is going to fuel my body for race day instead of just pleasing my taste buds. Overall, I’ve lost 5 pounds since I started training, which has really helped improve my pace and has made long runs feel a lot easier.
4. Have fun. When it starts to feel like a chore, stop and think about why you’re really doing this. Is it for yourself or to please someone else? Are you trying to prove to yourself that you can do something or are you doing it so you can prove it to everyone else? I think a lot of runners struggle with these questions. If it doesn’t make you happy, you are setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. Never lose sight of the reasons why you run!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned while training for a race?