People have been asking me how the Tinker Bell Half Marathon training is going, in fact- the pugs have been curious too, so here’s my update with a bit of side-windy nervousness, but we will get into that…
When I first started training for my first half marathon which is now coming up in January, I had a cute little countdown in my blog’s sidebar and for a time, seeing the countdown in the triple digits was uber comforting. Now, as we come up to the Christmas holiday, I realize that I have a little over a month before I run my first half marathon, the Tinker Bell, and yes, it’s finally feeling real. Oh, and we hit the $500 fundraising goal for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, so it’s really real.
Shortly after I started running this past July, after a lifetime of laughing at joggers and getting huffy puffy up a flight of stairs, signing up for a half marathon was an unrealistically big goal, but it was as big in my mind as it was far away in time. I knew I had a long, long way to go before I could cross the finish line of my first 13.1 miles, but I also knew I had some time to get ready.
Since that innocent (delusional) sign up date in July, I’ve been training my arse off- virtually turning around 26 years of inactivity and un-athleticism. I’ve been running 10-20 miles a week, and now go to the gym 3 days a week for cross-training. I watch what I eat and I have quite a hearty stash of workout gear and yes, 5 pairs of running shoes. As much as I’ve changed since summer- I still haven’t done a “long run” to see what it’s going to feel like. The furthest race I’ve done is a 10k (6.2 miles) and an indoor run of 8 miles.
Needless to say, I’m freaking out a little bit.
I’ve worked hard, but I fear it’s not enough. I keep telling myself that I can do this- even if I have to go slow or walk for parts. I know I’m improving overall- my pace has gone down overall, but there are race days I totally wreck it. Last weekend, I ran two 5ks at a slower pace than I’d done the week before (by a full minute on average). I will include details on why I completely tanked the Holiday 5k later this week, but needless to say- sometimes my hiccups in training are hilarious.
I vividly remember last week’s Holiday 5k where I wanted to barf (after having ignored the wisdom of not trying new supplements on race day), and had to walk a big portion of the race- though I felt horrible, I had the epiphany that made me feel bold and awesome even if that wasn’t reflected in my physical performance that day-
Even on my worst running day- I’m still better than my best day on the couch.
I’ve been scared and uneasy all week, but I’m ready to move forward. I’m ready to finally double down and tackle my longest distance run yet- 12 miles. Part of me wanted to stay in the realm of “ignorance is bliss” and “if you don’t know how much it will suck, you won’t talk yourself out of doing it,” mentality that got me through my first few months of running- ignorance is fine as you learn something new, but it’s not good for race day.
This weekend, I have finally committed to doing a 12 mile practice run. This is part of my #decdoubledown Girls Gone Sporty challenge, and I’ve even signed up for a 12-12-12 virtual race (with an adorbs medal) to bribe myself to do it.
I’m nervous, excited, curious and totally ready to try it. Well, I thought I was ready until I realized I didn’t have the right equipment for 10+ miles without water stations, so I had to head out to the local run shop and pick up some stuff. I spent far too much time debating between water fanny packs, utility belts and hand held strappy bottles. The lady in the run shop thought I was a total werido since I was crowdsourcing hydration advice via Twitter the whole time.
Oh, yes, and I OFFICIALLY OWN BODY GLIDE. That’s kind of a weird bridge to cross as a runner, eh?
So, here goes nothing I guess? I have all the running gear I need, my snazzy little hydration-fanny and snazzy new blister-preventing Injinji socks. Now I just need the courage to do something crazy and the patience with myself to get through even the slowest miles. I have no idea what 12 miles is going to feel like, but I’m ready to find out.