I’ll run my first half marathon in June. It’s the Manitoba Marathon, a run my Grandpa did many times (both full and half). I have patchy memories of going to see him cross the finish line, so in my head I can already picture what that looks like.
For me, the idea struck when a relative announced that she was going to run/walk the Manitoba half. In fact, she was already training. My ire was piqued. What? She was going to run a half marathon before I was? She wasn’t even a runner! Cue googling ‘Half marathon training plans for beginners’, ogling the course map, and visualizing running into that stadium, where I’d seen my Grandpa cross the finish line many years ago. I felt a cascade of excitement.
I could do that–I could!
Allow me to confess that over the winter I’ve slacked off. I’ve run twice a week most weeks, since late November, in increasingly shorter lengths and slower times. My confidence was down, due to some really bad runs. I was ready to push my limits again, to chase again. I wanted to find out who I’d need to become in order to run the half.
So I downloaded a plan, and got started. And here’s what I know so far.
I Must Redeem All the Time I Can
I’ve pared my plan down to four workouts per week, since at the moment I just can’t do five. Still, that’s a heck of a lot more time than two runs per week. I came into training knowing:
- 1. My writing must not slack off. I’m about to publish again.
- 2. I can’t neglect my family and church community.
- 3. I can’t neglect my spiritual life. God must be in even my running.
So how do I do that? Well, I’m not sure yet. Last week involved training myself not to hit snooze, since that gives me 18 minutes more for morning prayers and scripture. This will become a habit… eventually. I have to plan meals (and cook meals) well in advance. I have to make a to-do list and squeak those chores into five and ten minutes chunks of time. I have to write blog posts in the waiting room at the doctor’s office (like this one!).
Efficiency will become my middle name.
Likewise, I need to maximize my rest and relaxation time. Resting is growing, waiting is training.
I Must Endure the Pain
“I’ve signed up for four months of chronic pain,” I whined to my Mom.
And I don’t know the half of it yet, I’ll wager. The last three weeks have been one long pain fest as my winter-softened muscles adapt to extra miles and a new strength training routine. I curse my third-floor, no elevator apartment. My family and coworkers are tired of hearing me complain about my sore muscles. After all, I did it to myself.
But it’s a good kind of sore.
Because I want to know what it feels like to be that strong–physically and mentally. Yeah, I’m stressed and my legs, back, shoulders, and arms hurt. But the optimism and drive of having a huge goal is addictive.
Who will I become?