Today was training day 2 of my official half-marathon adventure. According to my Smart Coach from runnersworld.com, I had to run 2 miles today. I just could not convince myself to go to the gym to run on the treadmill like a hamster. I wanted to run outside in the fresh winter air, even though it was completely dark by the time I was able to get out.
Fears of being assaulted or hit by a car aside, I stepped out of my front door and ran six times around my block (2.3 miles total). This was a major accomplishment, considering that we live at the crest of a pretty tall hill.
This means I ran up and down the really tall hill six times, and I did it at a 12-minute mile pace, which, for me, is pretty darn average. Two words: hell yes.
That half marathon is starting to look easier and easier.
As I ran my two mile training jaunt while Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” flooded my ears, I realized how much wisdom those words held. Crazy. Such a deceptively simple word that exactly describes my current state of mind. This is because the other day, a friend convinced me to stop training for Bay to Breakers and start training for a Half Marathon. And the best part? The half marathon is two months earlier and 6 miles longer than B2B. Her argument: Just think how easy B2B will be after you’ve run 13.1 miles…
13.1 miles. Every day, I try to fathom how far that is. I live closer than 13.1 miles to my work. My mom probably lives only about 7 miles from me–and in a car in rush hour traffic, even that seems interminable. In fact, I don’t think I DRIVE 13.1 miles during the course of a day, and she wants me to run it. Do you want to know the craziest part? I said yes.
So now here I am in the midst of full-on training. Yesterday was my first “official” day, even though I consider the 6 miles I ran last week as pre-training. I’ll run another 6 this week, and then the real fun begins. Part of me says, “Hell yes, I can do this” while the other (and sometimes louder) part of me thinks that I am, in the immortal words of Gnarls Barkley, crazy.
I will say this, though. When I was a senior in high school, awkward, chubby, and somewhat ugly, I never even dreamed of running around the block, let alone running a half marathon.
I guess 30 isn’t quite that bad.
Seriously, why is it so hard to get back in shape as we get older? I ran the Bay to Breakers (a 12K–7.5 miles for those of you who are metrically challenged) last May, and I haven’t run since (save two two-mile jaunts in June or July–I don’t even remember which month it was). B2B is only six months away now, and if I have any prayer of beating last year’s time, I need to get moving–literally.
Yesterday, in an effort to prepare myself for an hour and a half (well, 1:39 according to my official timing chip) of physical Armageddon (and to fit my butt into the new Seven jeans I bought on eBay), I dragged myself to the gym to give it the old college try on the treadmill. My hope was that I would be able to run two miles at a somewhat reasonable pace (two miles is my get-back-into-training-distance that I usually have no trouble doing). My Sunday adventure, however, was a much different story. After one mile, I had a huge cramp in my side and I was all but ready to drop to the ground. I had to stop and walk for a few minutes before I could increase my speed to a slow jog. And today, I’m in pain. Real pain. My quads are screaming for some Motrin.
I have no doubt in my mind that I’ll be ready for May 17, and I’m relatively certain that I can beat last year’s time. My thirty year old body, however, may have a different agenda. Let the battle of wills begin…