I can't believe that in less than two months I'll be running my first (but most definitely not my last) half marathon! I'm running the half at Chosen: Marathon for Adoption in New Braunfels. I've really enjoyed the training so far in spite of the brutal heat and humidity. I've learned so much these last few weeks/months and thought I would write some of it out here so that I can come back after the race and see if it still holds true and how my perspective might have changed.
1. The only way to run faster is to run faster. I read somewhere that the only way to increase your speed is to do speedwork. It's definitely working! I do one tempo run or interval run a week. Nothing formal, but I like to see just how fast I can run the 5K distance, or I'll set out to do 2-3 miles of sprint/jog intervals. The other day my Nike+ said that I was running at a sub-9 minute per mile pace for the first time ever. I'll never be the fastest but it's so rewarding to see a definite improvement. Last year I was running anywhere from 13 to 15 minute miles. This year I'm averaging 11:45ish. I have a theory that once the weather cools off I'll see a huge difference as well. We shall see.
2. Long runs are NOT scary. My number one fear when I put together my training schedule was the weekly long run. My farthest distance up until then was 6 miles and that was only a couple of times. So far I have run 7, 8 and 9 mile long runs. I'm always careful to go slower than normal so I don't burn out before the end. Right now I'm all about the distance on the long runs and not the speed. We'll see how I do with double-digit runs. My first one is coming up this weekend!
3. It's hard to lose weight when training for a race. I heard this and thought PSHAW, I can do it. I'll just keep maintaining the same calorie deficit that I have for a while now. No Way! I learned a new word from a blogger that I follow. Runger. It's the hunger that you get from running more and upping your weekly mileage while training for a race. This is some serious business I tell you. The scale hasn't moved in weeks and I'm perfectly fine with that. I'm feeling great about my body and how strong it is becoming while understanding that it needs fuel to do so. I do try to make sure that I stuff my face with smart food choices but I can't say that I'm 100% successful. We'll see if this weight loss plateau continues.
Some other random thoughts about running:
- When I'm stressed I want to go for a run. This beats feeling the urge to hide under my bed with a box of Little Debbie treats.
- I have learned that while it's cooler in the mornings it is more humid. So I get to choose, heat or humidity? Well, I don't really get to choose. My schedule is pretty much dictated by my husbands work schedule and when he is home to be with the girls.
- Why did it take me more than a year to learn that I need water DURING my runs? Maybe this won't be the case this winter, but it definitely is a neccesity right now.
That's all I have for now. I'm sure I'll think of more stuff and be back to blog about it. If you read all this, Yay! If not, I don't blame you.