Today’s scheduled run was a 3 miler, but I decided to do my favorite 4.5 mile run instead. It was a glorius day for a run. Nice and cool and we finally got some rain!! All of the wildfire smoke has cleared out and I was able to breath. I was a bit speedier on my splits, which was nice for the ego.
I signed up for Strava. (If you are there come and find me!) I am still finding my way around over there. I like some things about it but there are some concerns. I tried using it with my Apple Watch but couldn’t get it to work, which is frustrating. I used the activity app on my watch and ran Strava on my phone at the same time, which is kind of annoying. However, I really like some of the analytics that I get with Strava that I don’t get with Apple Watch. And I like the social aspect as well.
One of the biggest concerns is safety. I gives your contacts access to your running routes, and I’m not sure I feel comfortable with that. But is that something that I should really be concerned about? I’d like to know your thoughts about it.
Today’s power song was Beez In The Trap by Niki Minaj. Oddly, I heard this song twice during my run, in the same place, at the beginning and at the end of my run. Weird!
Today my plan simply told me to do a Time Trial for 1 mile, and that’s it. A Time Trial, also known as the Magic Mile, is a way to measure your progress as you train. You are supposed to go to a track and run the mile as fast as you feel like you can. So that’s whatI did. In the blazing mid-day sun.
Since running one mile on my long running day is just completely ridiculous I decided to add my usual 4 mile trail run. I ended up running a bit further than I probably should’ve. Oh well.
My time for the mile has improved though! This makes my competitive, track running 15 year old in me proud.
Today’s power song was “Higher Ground” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Today I was scheduled for a 3 mile run, according to my plan, but i kind of thought that was ridiculous. So I ran an easy 4 miles at my half marathon pace, which is a 13 minute mile (which also seems ridiculous to me but I’ll just go with it and trust the running plan). Here are some snapshots from the trail.
One of my favorite spots on the trail
Love the shadows
One of the many critters I saw
One thing I forgot to add to my list of things that I learned from running my first half-marathon. Smile! Smiling got me through some of the harder parts. This was an out-and-back run on the Springwater Trail in Boring/Gresham, Oregon. As I was running toward the turnaround point the faster runners were passing me in the opposite direction and most of them were smiling. This, in turn, made me smile too! And it made the run much better. They were more than halfway done and here they were, smiling as they ran by. Some of them even cheered me on a little. I was very inspired and it helped keep me going.
Yesterday was the day! I completed my very first half marathon race. It was a rough road, but did it. I learned a few things along the way.
- Just do it. Nike has made this phrase a cliche, but it is actually a really great life lesson. As I was looking at my training plan I would see the long runs on Sunday. I would see that I would have to run 9 miles, or 10 miles, or 12 miles, and I would think, “How the fuck am I going to do that?!?” But since it was written there on my training plan I had no choice. I had to go out and run it. And you know what? I didn’t die. This realization has filtered into other aspects of my life. I am a procrastinator, and this realization has made me less of one. So much more has been getting done around the house. So the lesson: Just do the thing. Don’t think about it. Don’t “do it in the future.” Just do it now. Get it done
- Be kind to yourself. Longer runs are not the time to pull out the boot camp version of yourself. Be nice to yourself. Do what you need to do to complete the run. When I was training on longer runs I stopped at my house in between laps of 4 miles to get a drink of water, use the bathroom, eat an orange, and even switch out the laundry. It made things less stressful and I got my milage in and all was good.
- You only need to compete with yourself. I was in track as a kid and there is that bit of competitiveness inside me that comes out when I am in a race. This is not good because I don’t have the body I had when I was a kid. So yesterday at the beginning of the race I reminded myself that I am only competing with myself and it made the race so much better for me. However, toward the end having people in front of me to work toward catching up to gave my brain something to do, which was also good. In the end, I completed the race with the fastest time so far for this distance, and I am really stoked with myself.
Since this was my first half marathon my ultimate goal was to just complete it. Now that I know what is involved I have some goals in mind for next year. Next year I will work on improving my time and I think I will try for two half marathons next season.
I also decided that I’m content with training for half marathons. I don’t feel like I need to scratch a marathon itch. I don’t feel like that is something I need to prove to myself at this time. Marathons require a lot of time to train for and I just don’t have that kind of time in my life right now. I know myself and the stress of trying find the time to train for one would be too much for me. I’ll stick with half marathons for now. When I retire (or when I have a job that allows the time) I will train for a marathon.