I am entering week 7 of my 1/2 Marathon Training Plan and, let me tell you, I cannot wait for this marathon to come and go. I have learned a lot training for this thing and I think the biggest lesson I've learned is that I am not a distance runner. I really don't like how it makes me feel physically. It makes me . . . tired. Very, very tired. Then there is the issue of the knee pain which I resolved by purchasing yet another pair of running shoes. The new shoes took care of the knee pain, but now I'm contending with ankle pain again. (Ankle pain was the reason why I finally went to a real running store to get fitted for running shoes instead of continuing to buy my running shoes at Costco.) And it's really tough to train for a 1/2 marathon alone. Typically, I am very self-motivated but some days, it takes all I have to get out the door. I just do.not.want.to.run. A partner would definitely help me to look forward to the day's running instead of dreading it. But as I've said before, it's been next to impossible to find running mates (even having joined meetup.com for the specific purpose). So I've been forging bravely ahead solo and sometimes, I just want to turn back and get back into bed.
But anyway, some things that have helped me to press forward:
- eating before a run. Typically, I run first thing in the morning on an empty belly. That simply does not work if I am planning to run 10+ miles. I have to remember to drink at least 8 ounces of water and a handful of walnuts with some raisins before I head out the door. It really makes all the difference between feeling like I will die before I make it home and feeling like I could maybe go another mile.
- doing a training race. Tomorrow, I'm going to be running a local 10K race and I'm actually really looking forward to it. I know I can comfortably manage 6+ miles and this will give me a chance to test out how to do things for the 1/2 marathon
Still, I'm looking forward to when 10 miles is my weekly mileage again--not a day's mileage. I *much* prefer strength training and other types of cardio exercise. I am definitely on the bandwagon that says to avoid steady-state cardio and to enjoy doing exercise as would a child--essentially playing. When I do things like BodyRockTV style exercises, it feels light and playful. Running like this feels like hard work. But training for this marathon gave me a chance to switch gears and try something else. It broke up the monotony although it is now getting monotonous. In any case, I've got some new strength training books (Men's Health Power Training by Robert dos Remedios, Maximum Strength by Eric Cressey, or New Rules of Lifting by Lou Schuler) and I've been reading (strongly leaning towards Power Training). After the marathon, I'll take a week off and decide on what to do next. I'm actually thinking about doing a few Crossfit sessions although I won't lie and say I'm not intimidated by the whole Crossfit thing. Still and all, I know a lot of Crossfitters also follow a paleo diet so this might provide a good opportunity to meet like minded people.