running: 13.1

I’m going to start with the absolute truth: running 13.1 miles is hard. Though not impossible.

I registered for this half marathon on May 1st. At that point, I think the longest distance I had run was 5 miles. But when I was talking about it the other day, the conclusion was it’s one of those things that people do because they can.

I will admit that I woke up one Monday morning about 2 weeks ago and just wanted my training to be over. My legs hurt. I was exhausted every day, and I just wanted to cross the finish line and take the recovery week I promised myself.

Now…I can’t wait to do another.

I do want to say that the two things I was most thankful for were:

  • Hill repeats. Quite frankly, as a workout, I find them fun. The steeper, the better. The Rose Bowl. 1st Street downtown (where I could see people shaking their heads in their cars as I would run to the top at full speed and jog back down–over and over). And, even on a treadmill when it rained or I got home after dark (which was more and more often in the last few weeks). When I hit the hills on the course I ran, I was so grateful that I was used to running hills with tired legs.
  • Sprint intervals. I think this is what saved me. As of a month ago, the 8th mile of my long runs was my breaking point. It was absolutely mental. And two weeks ago I did my long run on a track. Every even mile of the ten-mile run had 8 100-meter sprints. This helped out in two major ways. One, it forced me to push through that eighth mile. Two, it was also the first time my legs were absolutely numb while running. I’m extremely glad I felt that before race day.

I will admit that, in addition to the hard, I am extremely, terribly sore. Yoga has helped, but I definitely know I have work to do before the next race!

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