I’m signed up to run in the Detroit half marathon, not the international one but the one that stays state side and runs around Belle Isle. I’m not sure exactly what the difference is (other than the course…obviously) but I’m not all that excited about this half. Mostly because the training has not been going so great.
Over the summer I didn’t run as much as I had hoped to. Long runs became a thing of the recent-past while I struggled to finish the hundred shadowing hours for my dental school application. I did get some speed work in while working with my kids’ cross country team in their pre-season and I tried to get back on track in August after the application was submitted but I also started coaching middle school cross country at that time. I love caching but it cuts into my already limited running time.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I realized there was only a month until the Detroit half…
I regularly maintain a decent level of running ability but I knew I needed to kick this training into gear if I wanted to reach my goal of 2:05 (which would be a PR by 2 minutes and 27 seconds). With exactly a month left to train, I got in my first ten mile run of this cycle but it was slower and more painful than it should have been. That same week I ran half of a half (or just over 6.5 miles) at slightly faster than a 2:05 half race pace. I was pretty pumped and felt like things were getting closer to where they should be. No, I wasn’t going to be able to do a long run every week but by following a two week rotating schedule I’d still get a couple above-ten-milers in before race day. Other than that I was going to focus on pace and do some speed-work while logging three to six mile runs…
Was. Going. To.
In the process of rolling out the amended training plan something happened, another snafu. I got sick. Like the Can’t stop coughing, crap in my lungs, I can’t breath so I can’t run kind of sick. I did try. I’ll pretty much try to run through anything. Sometimes it helps, not so much this time.
As September rolled into October I watched what should have been a hundred mile month turn into just under eighty and my hopes of PR-ing this go round get dimmer and dimmer. Altogether I missed a week of training. There were a couple slow, painful 3 mile runs in there but that hardly counts.
So, here I am with just under two weeks until race day feeling very under-prepared. I’m doing what I can to make up for lost time starting with a (hopefully) ten mile run today but breathing is still tricky. There’s definitely some fluid movement going on in the old lungs. I’m going to do what I can to salvage this go-round of half marathon training and
hope I can somehow miraculously manage to PR try to avoid embarrassing myself come October 16.
One thing I’ve learned from this, I am definitely a process runner. Like a process knitter or crocheter enjoys the making of something as much as the final product, I truly enjoy training for a relatively longer race like a half-marathon as much if not more than I do actually running the race. Sure the race is the pay off, the proof that you did the hard stuff, but the hard stuff, the day in and day out training, is the part that matters.