Firstly, I just wanted to say thanks for everyone’s support about the 10 miler. It had some good and bad moments to it, but I’ll delve into that later in this post !
Seeing that my first half marathon will be one of the See Jane Run races, I was incredibly excited when I learned I was accepted to be one of ten “SuperJane” Ambassadors. I first learned about this opportunity when the site was conducting a search for online bloggers, and I thought, why not give it a go?
I first learned about the See Jane Run races from browsing a few blogs about a year and a 1/2 ago, and after looking at their website, I was elated to find they had a popular Bay Area race. At the time, I wasn’t a runner (more of a jogger who was concerned about the calorie burn vs. the actual enjoyment of running), but I did sign-up to volunteer.
I was assigned for post-race clean-up so when I arrived at the race, everything was already in full-swing. I think the 5kers had just about finished, and were then just soaking up the sun and enjoying the post-race festivities. I remember seeing a stage where finishers could take post-race pictures, many vendor booths (Luna, FRS, and Pop Chips to name a few…), and even post-race massages (which I totally plan on taking advantage after my half marathon!).
Even though I wasn’t a serious runner at the time, I knew that I wanted to be a runner at this race, and I made the decision a few months later to sign-up for the following year’s half marathon…even before I had run my first 10k!! I figured that 6+ months to get ready would be enough time, and it was something I really wanted to challenge myself with.
So four 10ks later (five after this Saturday), I am nearing my first half marathon and I couldn’t be more excited (and I would be lying if I didn’t say nervous!!). I can’t believe that just eight months ago, I made huge changes in my outlook on running, and 13.1 miles doesn’t seem as impossible as I thought!
So how is my half marathon training going?
I am now in my 7th week of half marathon training, and overall, I would say I’m happy with my training so far. My weekly mileage has been lower than what I’ve been aiming for (I was looking at consistently running in the mid-to- upper 20s), often only getting to 18-20 miles per week. A lot of that has been outside fatigue from school stress, or lack of motivation to get a run in when I just want to be lazy on the couch for the rest of the evening. But I am willing to accept this, because not everything has to go according to plan in order to be successful.
What has been going according to plan are my scheduled long distance runs. I have successfully attempted and completed all of my scheduled LSD runs to date, and I feel accomplished for being able to push myself to tack on an extra mile each week…and not chickening out.
There was one thing I didn’t expect from this training however, and that was speed. I had one week during my training where I felt faster than ever before, and ran my fastest 5k in 27 minutes and something seconds! And I have been consistenly hitting a 9:30-9:50/mi pace with my shorter runs, so hopefully this is an indication that I’m doing something right with the LSD runs, and that my aerobic capacity and speed are benefiting because of them.
Even though my pace dwindles during my LSD runs, I see them as successes because I am able to complete them. Yesterday’s 10 miler, for example, seemed intimidating at first, but I had to keep that “one step at a time” thought in my head, and maintain focus.
I left the house around 7:15am in order to avoid the hot 90 degree temps that were forecasted for the day. I had my Garmin and MP3 charged and ready to go, and I ended up running loops on what is my usually 3 mi course. There was a nice, cooling breeze for about the first five miles, but then the weather started to get warmer so I backed off on my pace. The sides of my knees were also feeling tight, so I included some backwards and sideways running to give my quads a break.
By the time I came home, I chugged down some water and treated myself to some flavored coconut water. The electrolytes were seriously necessary.
Even though the simple task of climbing stairs after my run yesterday felt so arduous, nothing beats the accomplishment of achieving a challenging goal.
Running 3.1 miles more than what I ran yesterday is much easier to visualize now. After reading this cute poem on the SJR website, one line really stuck with me:
If you can run a mile, you can run a [half] marathon.
While I did participate in athletics in high school, I never saw myself as ever enjoying it. But now, I’m running because I want to, love to, and because I seek challenges. I love the magic of morning runs and being able to take in the fresh air as the sun comes up. I love lacing up my shoes when I think I am most tired, and then busting out 3.5 miles in the evening just as the sun is setting. I love treating myself to naps, thumbing through running magazines while understanding the jargon, and dreaming about destination races. I also love the camaraderie and support runners have for one another, especially women runners.
I’m grateful for being able to represent See Jane Run, and having the opportunity to share my relatively nascent, but growing love for running.
The next few weeks will require some serious focus, dedication, and motivation, but it will all be worth it for the celebration !
If you’d like to learn more about See Jane Run and their races, you can read Jane’s story here.
When did you first realize your love for running?