Friday, March 29, 2013

Run, Forrest, Run

If I had a nickel for every time I started this post and then deleted it....
Last weekend I got a comment from Rebecca on my Instagram asking if I would do a post about my training for the 17.75k I ran. I was so flattered, but a bit nervous. I am not an expert runner and running this race completely broke the mold for my normal habits. I have debated what the best way to write this post is and I have come to the conclusion that one post just isn't enough. There's my story, there's motivation, and there's the training itself. Sure, I could write it all in one post, but y'all don't want to read that and quite frankly, I wouldn't either.
With that being said, I am going to start with my story because, trust me, I can relate to all of you beginner runners.
Whoop, Whoop! Access Granted! Marine Corps Marathon or Bust! (rough, no-makeup post-race pic)

How did I start my journey to that picture?
I was tired of being out of shape. Simple as that, I was just tired of seeing people running and reading articles about health knowing I was in bad shape. It wasn't that I was gaining weight or obese, but I certainly wasn't toned and yeah, my body could be better and I know that metabolisms only slow with age. So, at Thanksgiving Break I told my momma that I was going to run the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2013. That was that, I set a goal and this time, it stuck. I guess it just finally clicked that I was in charge of my life and only I could make this happen.
How did I train?
Slowly. I mean, I started off in January being tired as anything after running 2.5 miles (not good). It was really disheartening but I knew I had to run the Marine Corps 17.75k in March so I just kept going. I was absolutely worried it wasn't going to work, but I coudn't just give up.
Honestly, that race motivated me more than anything else. I had to train, I had to run, otherwise I was going to embarrass myself in front of my family and friends.
I was not great about my training and the farthest I had run prior to race day was 7.5 miles, but 7.5 is way farther than 2.5 so that was good enough for me. Also, motivating myself to run was hard, but knowing how much I loved the feeling after my run actually helped. Running allows you to clear your mind and you release endorphins when you run making you happy, and that post-run feeling is a high like no other.
Disclaimer: I have to say buying good running shoes and learning the wonders of eating a banana before a run certainly aided in this training process.
Did I ever want to quit?
Yep. I really wanted to quit, but pride got in the way and I kept running. Running sucks, but crossing the finish line is pure bliss. Plus, my family makes fun of me for being the least athletic. Maybe I am, but they really can't say anything to me after I finish an 11 mile race.
How was the race?
Cold. Holy crap, it was cold that morning. I was thinking signing up for a race at the end of March would mean great running weather, not a 32 degree start. I was also beyond nervous. I was basically convinced I was going to come in last place. Then the race course basically made the Rockies look flat. I mean come on, making mile 8 basically a giant hill was cruel and unusual punishment. I don't like running with other people normally, but being in that setting helped push me and I definitely wouldn't have made it up those hills without seeing Gramps running (jogging slower than most people walk...yeah, that steep) up it in front of me.
cold and scared because everyone around me looks like they know what they're doing! (yeah, I ran with my pearls in my ears)
Did I achieve my goals?
I completely blew them out of the water! The goal I was telling people was that I wanted to run at least the first 7.8 miles without stopping. My secret goal was to run the whole thing and finish in as close to 2 hours as possible. I crossed the line at 1:57:37 with only that slight 15 second hiccup and was so proud of myself. Every second of training was worth it for that blissful feeling when I crossed the finish line. 
Still Running?
Yep. Still training, that Marathon is only getting closer and that is one race I cannot risk being unprepared for. I am running the Nike Women's Half-Marathon at the end of April with some of my sorority sisters too. I also don't want to risk losing the progress I have made thus-far by slacking now. Admittedly, I only ran once this week (yesterday) because I stretched a tendon in my foot on Saturday (super common but surprisingly uncomfortable and a bit painful) so I let that heal for a few days first. I need to go get some inserts to support my arches better to avoid having that problem again. 

What are your plans for training? If you are a seasoned runner, do you have any tips for me? I would love some advice! And I will post 



No comments:

Post a Comment