I struggled with whether or not to do this series. I hate clouding the blog with non-food related posts, mainly because I'm conscious of it after a few comments from loyal readers. here's the thing: the blog is my creative outlet and I love sharing my life with you guys… and running has become a part of my life. which sounds SO WEIRD.
When I tell people “I'm training for a half marathon” I quickly follow-up with “but I'm not a runner!” or “I'm SO slow though, don't be impressed!”
I wonder how many miles I need to run to feel like a “runner.” I wonder how many miles I've already run in my life.
I spend my free time reading articles about running. learning about negative splits and preparing for races and the best methods to get through a daunting training cycle. I read people's race recounts (and on numerous occasions I've teared up at how PROUD they are) and I scroll through running hashtags on instagram and I smile shyly when I pass other runners on the Bobby Wagner walkway.
so when do I become a “runner”?
a 5K didn't make me feel like a “runner”, a 10K didn't make me feel like a “runner”, will a half marathon?
will it happen when I FINALLY bring my pace below 10 minutes? Will it happen when I “PR”?
I have no clue. literally not a clue. but I guess I'm trying to get there. I'm trying to do this for me. to prove to myself that I can. that I'm capable.
anddddd I'm taking you guys with me. through the good and the bad. all the way to 13.1 miles. and the tons and tons of training miles. you're going to keep me accountable. here we go!
For starters, I'm going to run the Shape women's half marathon on April 17th. That means I have 8 weeks left to train up to it. And I'm running it by myself. GAH!
Sunday marked the end of my first month of training (for some reason sunday always feels like the end of the week not the beginning, do you guys feel that too?) so i put together a calendar with my stats:
I started the training schedule out with five runs a week and quickly learned my legs just aren't there yet. so week 2 i decided to cut out that thursday run and i've been doing that ever since. it's been nice having a little extra breathing room in my schedule and i've definitely noticed that my body is thanking me for it. i initially was like “on off days i'll cross train!” <- epic fail… i don't think i've cross trained once. That's my goal for the second month – to factor in cross training sessions.
All in all, those first three weeks were so nice. it was SO nice to have a schedule back and goals to achieve and a reason to actually go out and run. i've found without a race i won't actually do it, which is the worst. i think i'm just too deadline oriented and i like having something to word towards.
you'll notice i missed my wednesday session during week 4. that's when i got sick! i've been super annoyed about it and really irritated about STILL being sick (i actually left work early yesterday because i had a terrible headache and this cold prevented me from going out for my four miles last night).
It's sort of crazy to me that in one month's time I ran almost sixty miles. it's really only an average of 2 miles a day, which isn't a ton… but i'm excited to see that number go up as my sunday runs start getting longer and longer.
My pace has definitely improved over the month and so has my endurance. I didn't stop at all during my last run on Sunday and i was ready to practically cry tears of happiness at the end. My goal for that race i signed up for back in august or september was to run the full 10K and I only made it about four miles in before stopping, so finally achieving that goal was an amazing feeling.
month 2 of training is going to be a lot tougher. i'm starting the month out poorly with my cold and missing the first run. but i'm also planning on incorporating the cross training we talked about into my routine. i'm aiming for 1-2 sessions of cross training (1 core workout and 1 yoga, ideally) a week, but i'll have to listen to my body and adjust accordingly. I'm also planning on running my weekend runs in central park, which is harder because it's definitely more hilly. so we'll see how that impacts my pace and my endurance.
until next time, you can follow along with my daily runs on my super-secretive, fitness-specific instagram @ashtonesup (you'll find a lot of sweaty/gross selfies and the occasional healthy meal post on there, along with TONS of tone it up check-ins!)
thanks for following along and if you like hearing about this kind of stuff let me know in the comments!