It’s Wednesday, and my half marathon is on Sunday. I had a crazy long weekend this past weekend, road-tripping to Colorado to visit my mom, who fell and was hospitalized. She’s as good as she can be, and I’m very glad that we were able to get to see her. That being said, when we left I was in kind of a hurry, and worried, and wasn’t as prepared to get my final long training run in. I left my hydration belt at home, and didn’t think about getting any gels to run with. I would have LOVED to run in the dry Colorado air, although the altitude would have added a layer of fun.
That being said, I’m feeling less allergy-y lately (though more so since returning to WI) so I’m hoping that continues–it should, thank you Claritin.
During my final long run, last weekend, I ran with a new group and that was really lovely. I was super congested, barely had a voice, but I had to try to eek out 10 miles. I was shooting for it, and managed 6 with the group. While I just couldn’t do any more–not while keeping up with them at least–I headed back to the car to wait while my ride finished up. As I was stretching, cooling off, and thinking about what I was going to blog, I was really upset with myself for only completing 6 miles. Then I kind of laughed at myself. “Only 6 miles” was a testament to how far I’ve progressed this year. In January, 6 miles was a LONG run. Heck, even in May 6 was a stretch. So as I was giving myself grief, I calculated that I could get in another 2 miles before the group returned, so I set back out on a mile out-and-back. It was perfect timing, because as I was headed back I caught back up with the group. They were so excited and cheered me for getting back out there. I was able to finish up my 8 with my ride as she finished up her 10 miles.
Running has opened up a new community. I’m glad I made friends with a coworker who is a runner. Actually she’s a pretty kick ass runner–she ran Boston this year, and runs marathons all over. It’s through her that I ran with this group last weekend. Running is an interesting sport, because it’s individual, but can also be a group thing. Group training is beneficial, as it pushes the slower runners to be faster, and slowing down is beneficial for the speedsters, too.
As much as I’m ready to be finished with training for this half marathon (while feeling like I could use another 3 weeks to train), I’ve really fallen in love with running.It’s a big lesson in self love, self discipline, self forgiveness, and grinding it out to get it done. It’s pretty-much life condensed: takes a little bit to warm up, is great for a while, then it gets hard and it takes determination and a plan to get through the wall, then that runner’s high kicks in, and when you finish, if you’ve done it right, there’s a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
I’m excited for my half marathon this weekend, come what may. I am not as prepared as I wanted to be, but I’m far more prepared than I was for my first half marathon. I will finish, I will shoot for a 2:30 time, and I will have my awesome husband and kids cheering for me. Regardless of my finish time, I will have completed a fun, insightful, 6 month journey, and I’m better for it. I will be better prepared for my next one, as well.