Here I am, starting from scratch in a few ways:
- Starting to blog again after many (many) years (and as a result, re-learning WordPress!)
- Starting to run after being sick
The first one is pretty self-explanatory. The second one is as well, but that’s the one that makes for a much more thoughtful blog entry.
Training for a half marathon..
Early last fall, I decided I was going to run another half marathon. I had run one in 2017, so I had a nice five-year break. During that break, I would run 5 and 10Ks, but nothing more. I started low and slow, two miles at a turtle’s pace. From there, I built up. The weather was still warm, and I remember having at least one really hot run that I almost had to call off, but thankfully, after a 10-minute break, I was able to continue.
There is one area I ran around in particular, a park with a small pond and a walking path loop around the pond. You can imagine that as my mileage went up, that was quite a few loops! The fun part was, I’d cross paths with a lot of walkers who were doing the same loop, and as we’d pass we’d smile and wave. It was so nice. But I was so touched when, some miles into my run, these walking companions would cheer me on. “You’re doing great!” “Look at you go!” “Good for you!”
It meant a lot and gave me a lift when I really needed it. Those are special moments that I thought of during my second half marathon in November, and carry with me even now, during my runs many months later.
…and starting over again
I ran my third half marathon in January, and I was preparing to run my fourth in April when I got sick for basically the entire month of February. Totally derailed my training. I now find myself at that beginner stage once again. I’m at the very-slow-three-miles-with-breaks stage and hoo-boy, it is humbling. But I’ve started small before and built up and I know I can do it again.
I’m confident I can finish the race, but I am highly doubtful that I will PR, which leads me to a conversation I had with an athlete friend. She commented about how PRs are important to her and if she doesn’t have such a great run, she takes it somewhat hard.
While I understand that, my thinking is pretty different. I like to get a good race time, but I judge my races more on how I feel. Do I feel strong? Am I mentally positive or am I thinking “Ugh, this sucks.” Do I run more than I walk?
Maybe I have this perspective because I don’t consider myself an athlete. I’m not competitive with sports. I like to win, and I like to set goals for myself, but with running at least, I’m more gentle with myself. It’s one of those things where I’m just so flipping proud of myself for reaching my weekly goal, even if it is slow. Because at the end of the day, I’m doing it. I’m getting out there and moving my body and doing something I enjoy and doing something that challenges me.