Lessons Learned from Half Marathon Training

With just four short weeks until the Columbus Marathon, my half marathon training is in full swing. I’m up to 8 miles now with my longer runs, and feeling stronger with every short run. Overall, I can tell that I am in a better place at this point in my training than I was while working toward the Cap City Half – largely because I am doing all of my training outdoors, whereas the Cap City prep was mostly done on a treadmill (won’t make that mistake again!).

That said, things were a little hairy for a while. I had even considered dropping out and transferring my race registration to someone else.

photo

 

But then I saddled up, put on my big-girl panties, and really committed. I enlisted the help of my trusty (albeit slightly scary) virtual trainer, Jillian Michaels, to jump-start my diet and ensure I had enough energy to kick my training into high gear. Between eating better, being diligent about my workouts, and really pushing myself on my runs, the past week or two have been amazing. I’ve learned some tough, but valuable, lessons in this short time.

 

Borrow confidence until you find your own.

{tweet this lesson}

When I am filled with self-doubt, it’s encouraging to hear that others don’t think of or see me that way. Michael and my siblings, for example, have no doubt in their minds that I am capable of kicking this race’s ass – even if I feel underprepared, they know my strength and what I can overcome. I wish I knew how to articulate what their confidence means to me, but I’m horribly awkward and flawed, so I don’t tell them “thank you” enough.

(I shall set out to remedy that.)

 

Push yourself. Then push even harder.

{tweet this lesson}

Just because something is difficult does not mean it is also impossible. The route that I have been running since we moved contains a lot of hills. Normally, I’d be like, “aw hell no” and walk my ragged ass up those hills. But I told myself that walking was not an option. So I’ve been running every damn hill on every damn run… and now I have some seriously sculpted legs to show for it!

On top of that, I’ve been focusing on my pace – not going too fast out of the gate, regulating throughout my run, but still trying to get my overall time down. During the Cap City Half, my average pace was 11:36/mile. On my last short run, I was able to get it down to 10:45! All because I keep reaching for the next milestone.

photo2

 

But listen to your body and force yourself to rest.

{tweet this lesson}

I’ve been wrestling with some sort of muscle issue in the arch of my right foot + my right calf. Even when I stretch thoroughly, I experience a strong burning sensation in these muscles right around the 1.5-2 mile mark. Now, I could ignore said pain, but to avoid truly injuring myself, I’ve been stopping to stretch/massage/rest. Which is hella annoying when I’ve got a great momentum going and I have to do it every single run – but I need to listen to my body. Even when it’s being high maintenance.

 

Believe in your capacity for greatness.

{tweet this lesson}

I have to keep telling myself:

I am more than I am today.

And I will get there eventually. And then reach for something even greater. Life is a constant state of evolution to realize our fullest potential. I don’t ever want to become static or content.

 

Have fun, you whiny bitch!

{tweet this lesson}

I’ve learned to appreciate my runs as sacred alone time to reflect, brainstorm, clear my head and enjoy the scenery of Columbus (as opposed to cursing myself, focusing on what hurts and counting down the seconds until it’s all over and I can collapse on the couch in a glorious heap of sweatpants and fried cheese). I’ve gotten in the (not so great) habit of pausing to grab photos of things that strike me or make me smile. Here are some of my faves.

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

Bridge

This bridge is exactly 1 mile from my house… always a sight for sore eyes (er, feet).

Caterpiller

 

CK

Have your say