In a surprise turn of events…I went ahead and wrapped up this 2020 goal by the end of training week 6. It’s genuinely a little crazy for me to look back on – but here we go:
Week 6 –
Tuesday – 2.55 Miles – 11:44 avg pace per mile
Thursday – 6.28 Miles – 11:54 avg pace per mile
Saturday – 13.67 Miles – 12:32 avg pace per mile (2 hours 45 minutes total)
Total Miles: 22.5 Miles
- It’s kind of weird to me to consider that I ran 22.5 miles last week alone. That’s a lot (for me) and something I wouldn’t have thought I would/could ever do.
- Even more crazy – to think I did a full half-marathon distance (plus about a half mile extra)!
The half marathon wasn’t fully anticipated/planned for, but it ended up being a pleasant surprise, and I’m really glad I was able to get it off my mind/goal list. Thankfully the weather here has turned somewhat cooler, so actually running the half was soooo much more tolerable. Coupled with the fact that I was/am dealing with a lot of emotions personally, in a number of ways, it felt like a really good, cathartic exercise (no pun intended) to get my mind off some things and channel my energy toward something productive.
1. Our bodies are incredibly adaptable. – Wow. I knew our bodies were adaptable BUT I never would have believed that I could go from very minimal running to a full 13.1+ miles in just 6 weeks time. Especially since I had given myself an 18 week training plan…to accelerate through the endurance times and mileage so much more quickly than scheduled was truly a bit of a shock to me.
2. I AM a runner!? – I have never called myself a runner, and even this weekend would preface conversations about the half with “well I’m not really a runner…” but I think now I can officially say I AM a runner with a small degree of believability/credibility.
3. I have a whole new view/appreciation for exercise and nutrition. – I have never done heavy duty endurance training and for this half-marathon goal I had to learn new things and challenge old beliefs. I have never before been so understanding or appreciative of the nutrition aspect as when I was burning calories like crazy. I really could feel when I was not properly fueled for a run, when I was hungry, when I was clearly under nourished or depleted. It was a very different learning curve to tune into my body and the cues it was giving me.
4. The difference between pain and discomfort. – Paying attention to my body also meant listening when it told me I was tired, not warmed up enough, something was awry (hello little twinges in my calf), or when I needed to just sleep some more. The mental side of “talking to myself” during runs became necessary – and that act of “self soothing” really helped me keep going during times that I could feel something coming up, but found it was more an excuse mechanism in the form of discomfort versus a potential injury. Did I hurt? Yes, almost every run; but those “hurts” were muscle soreness and fatigue, or joint tenderness, nothing more.
There are SO many small things I took from every run; no run was ever a waste, and every time I laced up my shoes and went out I was learning about myself in a myriad of ways. I don’t think I could even put them all down into one post, but I will say I am very glad I did it. Conquering something like this half-marathon has helped me believe in myself that much more. It has helped me see the attainability of other, more lofty, goals and made me hungry for the next challenge. I don’t know yet what the next challenge is, but I am excited!