I started HitchDied as a wedding planning blog operating under the theory that no one wanted to hear me talk about wedding planning, but I still had to get all those obsessive thoughts out of my system. Well thank goodness the blog is still here for all the new things in my life I have obsessive thoughts about that no one else wants to hear, like how half-marathon training is going!
So if you are one of those people who rolls your eyes and goes, “shut up, ACTIVE PEOPLE” every time you are next to a “you’re a runner? I’m a runner too! What flavor Gu do you like?” kind of conversation, you should probably ignore my blog on Mondays until early May. But if you were one of those people who found my wedding planning tales interesting even though you weren’t planning a wedding, maybe you will also enjoy these?
Why Half-Marathon Training is Like Being a Postal Worker
Last Sunday I ran in blizzard-like conditions. The next time I went out (two days later) it was 65 degrees and sunny. That’s March in Pittsburgh for you. In the past few months, I’d only run when the weather was cooperating, either exercising indoors or just being sedentary when it was too cold/wet/generally oogy outside. It has been tough to switch my attitude to a “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night”-type adherence to my schedule, but I am grateful that I’m getting more used to running in different weather conditions, because running for the first time ever in snow at my first race is 50% of what made that 10K such a miserable experience for me.
It’s also funny to me how in my “off” months of only semi-regular running I was more likely to go out when the sun was shining, but as I was reminded yesterday on my weekly “long” run, it can be even better to run in the chilly/lightly misty weather associated with gray days.
Why Half-Marathon Training is Like being a Postal Worker, Continued.
I’m constantly worried about my mental health.
Physically, I know I could cover the distance of a half-marathon TOMORROW if I really had to, but I would probably feel absolutely terrible physically and even worse emotionally. I know how to train over the next two months to get myself to feel better physically on race day. I DON’T know how to train myself to avoid an emotional spiral into misery when things get tough in training or in the race.
One major issue I’m struggling with right now is that I’m not feeling proud of myself at all for my training. I keep thinking of a half marathon as half an accomplishment because I know SO MANY marathoners. I try to make it all about myself, and think “By running a half-marathon I’m accomplishing something I couldn’t do a year ago!” But my negative side counters that I’m training for such a ridiculously slow race pace (11 minutes/mile, which is about as slow as I can go and still feel like I am actually running), that I’m not really advancing my ability at all.
Meanwhile, all the winter flab I’ve been carrying around that I was doing a pretty good job of embracing (except for when my jeans were fresh out of the dryer and impossible to zip up) is bothering me a lot more because I can feel it jiggle and slow me down when I’m running. And before you can say, “Oh but running will make that flab go away!”, lemme tell you it’s not going to, because I can’t resist eating all of the food in Allegheny County a few hours after every long run.
Because I’d like to be Even More Insufferably Smug About My Active Lifestyle
To address some of these mental health and body issues, I’ve been considering going back to yoga. I’m concerned it will impede my training, though. I don’t want to lose time on the road to time in the studio. My training schedule only has three or four days on the road, so that shouldn’t really be a problem, but does a rest day really count as a rest day if I do 90 minutes of hot yoga? Should I be pairing yoga with CT days instead? If anyone has combined race training or a running schedule with yoga at all, I’d love to hear your insights.
Once again, if you’d like to donate to my fundraising campaign, GO HERE. Every dollar helps! Thanks!