“I’ve awaken early. I’ve gone to bed late. I’ve consumed gallons of water. I’ve developed blisters. I’ve spend hours icing and stretching. I’ve hobbled up and down stairs. I’ve breathed, heavy, labored, and deep. I’ve fought nausea. I’ve logged miles after miles after miles.
All for this: 13.1.
This random number has such significance for me; today I conquered it.”
Blog Post on April 7, 2013
In last week’s post I mentioned how I ran cross country my freshman year at Lancaster Bible College. It was an amazing experience. Amazing. Also, incredibly challenging. I don’t think I knew what I was getting myself into. I had never run that much before in my life.
But I had caught the running bug, and there was no turning back.
After my first season of cross country, I decided I wanted to try something even bigger than the 5K’s I had run all season: the half marathon.
I registered for the Garden Spot Village Half Marathon and began training November 2012.
Hal Higdon became my “personal trainer.” (Really, I just followed one of his online training plans.)
A note on training: Hal Higdon actually provides a very helpful, comprehensive resource. The plan I followed is designed for 12 weeks of training. I had more time, so I extended my training plan to 20 weeks. I shifted the schedule a bit to have my rest days on Sundays. I think every runner should try a half. Maybe every person, even if you just walk it. It’s such a rewarding experience, to exercise (jokes) discipline and see it pay off.
A few tips for half marathon training:
- Establish a base of 3 miles. If you are comfortable with 3 miles before you begin the training plan, you will be surprised at how easy it is to extend your milage.
- Listen to your body. If you have pain, don’t be afraid to rest. It’s better to allow your body a chance to recover than push it too far.
- Mix up your run locations. Make it exciting! Go to new places…especially for long runs.
- Map out your run before you go. This site is a helpful resource: www.runningmap.com/beta/
- Don’t do anything during your race that you haven’t practiced in a run: that goes for food and beverage intake, clothing, watches, and shoes.
- On the day of your race, allow yourself to have fun. You’ve reached an amazing goal.
“It’s taught me discipline and patience.
It’s taught me how to prioritize.
It’s taught me that I can be, that I am strong.
It’s taught me the beauty of being alone on an open road.
It’s taught me how to push myself further than I have before.
It’s taught me to be ready to absorb sights and sound that I engage.
It’s taught me how to breathe deeply.
Running is a beautiful act. There is much to be gleaned; with each mile comes a new lesson. I know this to be true with certainty.” Blog Post on April 7, 2013
About a week before I ran that half marathon, I began to experience pain in my left hip. It was uncomfortable, but I shrugged it off. With running that many miles, something had to hurt, right?
The day of the race I felt fine and ran virtually pain-free.
When I crossed the finish line, my body ached.
A few hours later, it still hurt. A few days later, it still hurt.
This is what I cite as the onset of my injury.
When I crossed that finish line, I didn’t even know what I was finishing and the next “race” I was about to start.