It has been approximately one million years since I have posted a running update. Here’s a quick list of excuses followed by an actual update:
- I never followed through on my post “I signed up for a half marathon, so now I have to run it” because I physically couldn’t run it. Thanks, food poisoning! But really… I got food poisoning two days before the race and couldn’t move off my friend’s couch. It was an interesting way to spend my vacation–a lot of gingerale, Saltines, and awkward conversations with my best friend and his amazing roommates who helped nurse me back to health.
- I was sad about not running that half marathon. I trained hard and I felt strong and confident. I felt like I let myself down and I was basically having a pity party.
- I tried to get back into running when I spent some time in Rhode Island, the place that really helped me transition from a girl who ran occasionally to an actual runner. But then I got vertigo. Funny thing about vertigo… it’s really hard to run when you can’t maintain your balance even when sitting completely still. So, getting back into the groove was a bit of a challenge.
- When I got home from Rhode Island (sans vertigo), I really wanted to get back into running and self care in general. So, I signed up for (another) half marathon, this time the Ath Half in my own hometown. Oh, yea, the excuse: IT’S HOT AS HELL IN GEORGIA IN THE SUMMER. I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea to start training for a half marathon in 100-degree heat. Dumb.
So, this brings me to my actual update.
While it was incredibly stupid to begin half marathon training during some of the hottest weeks of the year, I made it work. The first thing I did was make a very simple rule for my own safety: only run in below-90-degree conditions. This was challenging on some days–I had to wait until an hour or so after dark or run very early in the morning. There were some days that the humidity was so high that I thought I was going to pass out, even with my below-90 rule. My favorite training runs, in fact my favorite runs always, were during the amazing summer thunderstorms. There’s something about running with the thunder that makes me feel powerful and more connected with nature… and maybe a little stupid.
There are some other characteristics of this training that have been extremely helpful. I’ve had the support of three other women who are also running the half. We started checking in on each other and we even did a long training run together more recently. That support was key.
I also found support through social media, similar to my last training. I posted a few photos on Facebook or Instagram and found that my friends and family (and some strangers) were incredibly supportive. It always feels good to see people posting nice comments.
I also had a lot more time to train this time around. I have a much more flexible schedule and a newfound ability to say “no.” This has been essential to my success in training thus far.
So, overall, the training has been great. I have been sick for about two weeks and I’ve had to skip a bunch of training. That being said, I still feel like I’m on track. The race is in two weeks and I really look forward to running around my city with thousands of other folks and then giving my friends and boyfriend big, sweaty hugs at the finish line.
I’d love to hear from some other runners. What are your biggest challenges? What advice do you have for getting through training despite extenuating circumstances?