that looming training schedule

I’m almost halfway through my training schedule for the half-marathon in January. This time around the training is so different. The first time I trained for a half-marathon, each long run was my “longest run ever.” I remember feeling slightly sick to my stomach at the thought of running eight miles and I still felt nauseous with each long run beyond that distance. The half-marathon itself was my longest run ever. And I swear I only got from mile 11 to the finish through will power. I remember distinctly feeling that my right leg was going to fall off. It was not an easy accomplishment.

The next time I trained for a long race it was the marathon. I had some of the same experiences in that training schedule. There were a number of runs that were my longest ever. I had some nerves during training. The intensity of that schedule was certainly something I had never experienced. I had runs of six miles that were considered my easy days. I found blocks of 3-5 hours on some days just for running.

Now I’m training for a distance that I’ve run before. Each run on my schedule is a distance with which I’m familiar. In fact, during the marathon training I had six runs around or over (sometimes far over) the half-marathon distance. That makes this training schedule feel a lot less intimidating. I’m not terribly stressed about the runs. In fact, part of me feels like I could run the half this weekend if I had too – I wouldn’t be setting a PR mind you, but I could run the distance. That’s what marathon training did to me, it gave me a confidence in my abilities and a knowledge of how to push my body and what to expect from it.

Even with all of that, this schedule is burning me out. It’s a busy time of year. I just started a new work project that is going to take up a lot of my time. And I have this training schedule looming over me. Nagging me about when I’m going to get my runs in and making sure I don’t cheat on the distance.

The list-maker, planning soul inside of me loves the training schedule. Loves looking at last week and seeing that I ran 18.6 miles. Loves seeing the totals climb in a nice orderly fashion.

But there’s a little part of me that is mad at that schedule. Wants to tell it to stop pushing me. To let up a little for goodness sake. There’s a little part of me that would like to have a day where I don’t have to find time to run or cross train.

I think I need to play hooky from my schedule.

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4 thoughts on “that looming training schedule

  1. Are you hoping to set a new PR at this 1/2 Mary? I know I’m not and that’s because I’m looking ahead to that race as a fun weekend running with my girlfriends. I’m not looking at it as a race. My goal is to stay healthy & fit enough to cover the distance & then plunge head-first into 25k training when I get home from Cali. Maybe not putting pressure on will help you relax & enjoy the training.

    1. That’s a good point Bari. I am currently training to set a PR even though I keep telling everyone that I’m just running this for fun. I know I’m so much stronger than my first half that I have this nagging need to push. Maybe I need to step back and remind myself why I picked this race…. to celebrate my 40th in a fun yet significant way.

  2. I’ve purposefully backed off on my miles in the last few weeks, knowing that I’m starting the half marathon training in January. I’m excited for it, of course, but scheduling can be so overwhelming. I should’ve done this before I had kids!

  3. Sometimes, I purposely don’t run on Saturdays….or push it to the afternoon, for the very reason you said, because sometimes running becomes one more thing I “have” to get done. And some days I just need days that I am not running around trying to mark things off my list. I need days that I sit around in my PJs as long as possible. I need days that I can stay in my warm bed. There are so very few of those.

    Training is good. Having a goal is awesome. Sometimes, letting go just a little bit, is even better.

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