Remember how I was all, I'm going to blog about my half marathon training week by week, just like I did last time! And I totally did. That one time. Then I went back to work and I injured my back and missed one long run.
I kept thinking, I need to blog, but my time has been so limited. The important thing, though, is that I have been running. I've cut out a few short 3 mile runs here and there because let's be honest... I am swamped at work and sometimes I can only juggle so much. For awhile, I was getting up at 4:30, but that became too overwhelming and exhausting that I had to admit that I couldn't do it all. Funny concept, that.
That said, I've kept up with all of my long runs. In the past three weeks, I've progressively gone 12, 13, and 14 miles. Wow. In my last half marathon training, I topped out at 12 miles. That was the big long run that I worked up to, so it was weird to hit 12 miles so early in this plan and know that it would just go up from there. It was even weirder to run 13 miles, to basically run a half marathon knowing that my actually half marathon is still two months away. This is definitely not an easy training plan!
I've had a few people ask if I have a pace goal. The answer to that is no. I'm being realistic in that it'll be November and I honestly can't predict what the weather will do. It could be freezing rain and a screaming wind and that could hurt my overall performance. I don't want to be disappointed if I can't perform as well as I've trained. I also know that sometimes, things just happen. I would, of course, like to improve my last half time, which is why I'm following this plan (that and I apparently like to punish myself with really long runs).
I've felt myself grow stronger over the course of these long runs. What's been amazing to me is how my body holds up through them. I remember being SO sore after my half marathon. I remember going out to eat afterward and walking bow-legged to the bathroom. I didn't feel like this again, which is a blessing. I had some issues with my calves cramping horribly at mile 12 of 13 when I had to stop for a long traffic stop, so I made sure to eat more bananas the week before my 14 miler and I had no issues with cramping (I also had a slower overall pace for this run). I did run the first 6 of the 14 with Barb and I cannot stress how much this helped break up the monotony of a long run for me. Knowing that I only had to face 8 of the 14 miles alone made it that much more bearable. I don't listen to music when I run (long story short, I feel like I'm a more efficient runner without it), so having someone with me definitely helps pass the time.
Mostly, my goal is to run stronger. I felt like the last three miles of my half were such a painful ordeal. Every step killed me. My body shut down and I seriously felt like it was an eternity. Even if I don't end up improving my time, I want to feel like I finished stronger and I'm hoping that this insane plan gets me there!