Dear Half Marathon,
You and I… we just don’t mesh.
You demand too much of my time.
Your 10, 12, even 14 week training plans are insane.
You require long distances and hours on sacred weekends.
Each weekend you even go as far as to increase in mileage requirement.
You force short speed work runs during the week in between work, gym, activities, LIFE.
You wreak havoc on my inner workings if you know what I’m sayin’.
The forced nature of our relationship is downright draining.
I don’t want to have to stick to your demanding schedule anymore.
And who are you to tell me what to do?
What I am getting at here is…
We had some ups and downs, but in the end, our 3-time relationship was beautiful.
I will forever be grateful for the challenge.
It’s not you, it’s me.
And all that other breakup crap.
Sunday, October 29th, 2017 concluded my half marathon running days. From my first half-marathon in 2013 to my second in 2014, it’s been a journey. A fine one at that. But, ladies and gents, I am for real done with the training of it all.
I set out on my third half marathon journey in July of this year. I committed (silently) to run the Good Life Halfsy as my last half-marathon and conquer a new PR of 1:59:59. My first half I finished at 2:10. My second half I finished at 2:05. Surely I could knock out another 5 minutes off my time, ya?
And I could have, had I taken the training a little more seriously.
But I didn’t.
I didn’t account for the amount of time I’d be out of town in September or the work events and travel, I sometimes bypassed a distance run on the weekend due to some of that CRAZY rain we had for a while and I am a NON DREADMILL runner. I won’t. Just won’t. I ran when I could. I stayed as close to the training schedule as I could. I realistically reduced my goal time of 1:59:59 to 2:04:59.
And then October hit and I put in one serious distance run of 10 miles and only logged 7-8 distance miles the other weekends, and a few 4-5 milers during the weekdays leading up to the event. I just was over it.
And I also scheduled my LIFE first, training second.
I ran an out and back if you are trying to figure out my mapping situation above.
No excuses. I am just not a dedicated runner. I don’t claim to be. I don’t want to be. I have many friends who ARE runners and holy shit they are SLAYING it out there.
Let me brag on Cara for a sec. She started running (seriously running) last fall. Competed a few halfs and began seriously training for a full early summer of 2017.
On October 15th she completed her first FULL marathon (26.2 freaking miles) and came in at 3:54:45.
Guys, that is SMOKING fast. Especially for a first-timer with an average pace at 8:58. So crazy proud of her.
Cara on the right.
Tori (marathon master and extraordinaire, dual Boston Marathon conquerer) is on the left and helped coach Cara through her training.
She LOVES to run. Lives for it, actually. The day after her marathon she was running on the treadmill before coming to my PiYo class.
Ok, let’s call it like it is. She’s a weirdo.
Anyway, back to the story at hand.
You still following me?
Bless you, my child.
I set out on October 29th with no expectations, which is a big deal for me. I am super competitive with myself when it comes to the mileage and my pace. Note the keyword there: myself. I don’t give a darn what others are running at. I truly don’t. But I care about how I am doing compared to myself. But, I also had to be very realistic. I am most definitely not in what I consider my best shape. I’m probably the most out of shape I have been in since 2013. I went through a phase the last 8 months. Quit master training, cut back from teaching 7-8 classes a week to 2-3 classes a week. I stopped hitting the weights in August when my work-life balance were competing with each other. I was burnt out. BIG time. And I simply have NOT been motivated to get myself back in the game at my 100%. I am still in the game, but not playing competitively.
So, Sunday October 29th came, ready or not.
And off I went.
I had a good playlist set, I was content with whatever time I was going to come in at, I tuned out everyone around me, and I just ran.
The hubs met up with me around mile 3.5. He had every intention to meet me again at mile 10, but somehow we missed each other. I was fully prepared to yell some very explicit language at him. Sometimes you just need to get your words off your chest, you know? But instead, my fellow running neighbors got my words. We had a laugh about it.
And we kept going.
Miles 10 through 12.5 sucked. No way around that. My breathing was on point. My head was clear. But my legs…. they were on fire and not afraid to tell me every single stride and step they took. I had also been nursing a pulled hamstring in the days leading up to it so was overcompensating a little on the right to alleviate pressure on the left, so that played into the leg sensations as well.
With the end in sight and the dreaded HILL at the end (for the LOVE people), I SPRINTED my little heart out the last .25 miles. I set my eyes on roughly 6 people ahead of me and made it a point to pass them. I passed all of them, with the last girl getting passed literally two steps before we crossed the finish strips.
A respectable time. A time I am honestly proud of considering all the other factors that came into play in my training and lack there-of.
- I finished milliseconds faster than my first half marathon that I trained religiously for.
- I finished in 1,966th place of the 4,505 finishers that day. First half of the group, yo!
- I wasn’t one of the 47 runners who started but didn’t finish.
- I wasn’t one of the 2,000 runners who registered but didn’t participate.
It also proves to me that I know I CAN do better, I did it before, and with a little more training I could master my 2:04 time, or maybe even my 1:59:59 time.
But, those days are officially done and over for me.
I like to run for ME. For the fresh air. To clear my head.
I like my 3 milers. I like my 6 milers. I like to run them when I want to and I like to run for as long as my body chooses to.
Not when a training program tells me to.
So with that, I can officially say…
It’s been a good run.
Cheers to never again.
Special THANKS to the fine folks of the Good Life Halfsy! This is such a well put together run and event. I was completely blown away by the organization, the structure, the route, the after party (that I didn’t get to stick around for since I had to be back in Omaha at lightning speed to make my Nebraska Wind Symphony concert).
Well done, friends.