Half Marathon Training: T-3 Weeks

I was going to write a nice complainy post this evening, it’s been rattling around in my head all day, well, for the past two days really. You see, the half marathon that I am doing (it’s all legit now, I’m signed up and everything…Eeep!) is in three weeks.
Weelll, three weeks from Saturday technically but close enough. Very close indeed!
Three weeks is not much time and this grand idea of running 13.1 miles in one stretch is more than a little intimidating.
To add to the fun I am fighting a sinus infection right now and my iPod died yesterday. I have no means to replace the bugger right now with my limited full time student/single parent budget so this really sucks. I’ve had the thing for four years, it couldn’t hold out for another three weeks?
Of course not!
The past two weeks my running has been kind of…meh. I’ve been logging the miles but just barely and my long runs have been not very long. The week before last I woke up on Tuesday with this grand running plan for the rest of the week. It was going to be great and incorporated a ten mile long run at the end of the week. The problem was I didn’t take into account my messed up sleep schedule, I transitioned from working nights over the weekend to school during the week days by only sleeping three hours Monday and five Tuesday, aaand how poorly I’d been eating.
Guess what…that,it seems, is the perfect recipe for a crappy week of running AND for feeling pretty run down.
I attempted the six mile trail run I had planned for that Wednesday. It was slow and painful. I was really dragging. Then the ten I had hoped for Friday morning just didn’t happen and I barely squeezed in three that day. My youngest had stayed home sick from Kindergarten and two of the other kids had friends coming over in the afternoon. There was just no time for ten miles of running. And I really wasn’t feeling it anyhow. When I woke up with a sore throat a few days later I realized why.
*sigh* That’s just how it goes sometimes.

But like I said, this is NOT the complaining post I was originally planning to write today.

All day today I told myself I was going to run this evening after my kids left with their dad and was toying with the idea of a long ,or at least long-ish, run. There was some serious sinus pain going on later in the afternoon though so I wasn’t sure whether this was a good idea or not.
What’s better, resting or running through i? It’s a toss up.
I took some cold medication (children’s strength…I’m a cold-med lightweight) and then made a cup of coffee trying to gear up for this run. Sometimes the stars align just right; today was one of those days.
I hit that magically perfect combination of cough syrup, caffeine, and frustration that made for a great run.
While my ex was gathering the kids into his car and my youngest was tearfully asking for “just five hugs” before he had to leave, I asked him (the ex not my five year old) if he got an e-mail I had sent about a couple of activities and events the kids had coming up. His reply was something along the lines of “I got the e-mail but as far as I’m concerned they aren’t doing that stuff because two of them have a bunch of missing assignments. They don’t do homework at your house because they say you don’t make them do it.”
What the fuck??? I don’t make them do homework? Ugh!
And why couldn’t he respond to my e-mail with this concern?
Of course in his mind I am the problem here. Because kids of divorce never try to work the situation to their advantage by giving an inaccurate picture of what goes on at the other house.

But again, this post is not about the complaints of my day.

Anyhow, this frustration gave me just the boost I needed to get out the door even with this sinus crap and without my iPod.
I decided I would just run and see how I felt. I’d aim for a longer distance but would only go as long as I felt okay. Right from the start I knew this run was going to be everything the past two weeks of running had not been.
It felt good, hitting a nice steady rhythm early on without the breathing problems that have been making it difficult lately. Mentally this was exactly what I needed.
And I ran for nine miles…ran, without walking…for nine miles.
I really wanted to do ten but didn’t plan my loops around town quite right and it was pretty dark out by the end of the run. I definitely could have run at least another mile or maybe even four.
For the first time since my long (also nine mile) run over two weeks ago I felt like this thirteen mile thing might not be so bad.
It’s a good sign.

The real reason I'm doing this is so I can put one of these cool stickers on my car.

The real reason I’m doing this is so I can put one of these cool stickers on my car.

Random side note, one of the things people don’t tell you about the long runs…it loosens everything up including the bowels. Seriously, around mile seven I really thought I was going to have to mad dash to the bathroom in a nearby restaurant. Luckily the feeling subsided a bit but, holy crap,…literally!
Consider this a PSA: All you runners who are new to longer distances, plan the end of your long runs so it’s close to a bathroom. No joke, just take my word for it & thank me later.
Also one of my toe nails (the second one on my right foot if you must know) is starting to look suspiciously grey. I’m a bit worried about it.
Just hold on for three more weeks, little toe nail, this madness will subside (at least a little).

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About nights7

A metamorphosis in progress...always.

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