I’ve done it before.
I ran my first half marathon two weeks before I ran my second. The build up, hard work, and anticipation leading up to those two weeks made crossing the finish lines after 13.1 some of the happiest moments of my life. My first half marathon was a symbolic gesture of hard work and determination to do something I never thought I would do.
This time around, things are a little bit different.
These upcoming two half marathons are “fun” races. No pressure, no nervousness, much less pride in what I’m doing because I’ve done it before. Aside from doing our long runs on the weekends with some shorter distance runs during the week, we didn’t follow a half marathon training plan. I’m untuned.
I wouldn’t classify it as not trying or not putting forth my best effort. I actually feel like I’m running faster in general than I was before Rock n’ Roll Arizona in January. And I can’t say that I won’t try to PR or try to leave as many people in my dust as I possibly can (I’m far too competitive for my own good). But I also won’t feel defeated if I don’t.
But, we have our reasons.
In June, we will kick-off our marathon training (dun dun dun).
I realize how lucky I am to run my first marathon in Chicago, one of the top 5 marathons in the world, and I don’t want to waste it. I want to cross that finish line knowing that I pulled out all the stops, and I want a race and a time that I’m proud of. If I’m not bawling like a baby at the end, so overwhelmed with happiness and dehydration, I will be disappointed.
But I also know that after all of that running (10 mile runs during the week, and 20 miles during the weekend????), by the time I hit the “peak,” I will be so burned out on running that I will consider taking up competitive step aerobics instead.
Even after 3 months of training when 10 miles WAS my long run, I was ready to take a break. The last thing I want is to kick off marathon training already bored with it.
So, we didn’t follow a training plan for these halves.
Every once in a while, I need to just enjoy the ride. Plus, I think racing in itself can be part of the marathon training. More experience with juggling water stations, course bathrooms, and proper pacing is never a bad thing. And who knows. I didn’t really train for Arizona either (there are about 10 blog posts of me internally struggling between desperately needing to train and not wanting to because it was cold and warm Christmas alcoholic beverages needed my attention). I still ended up with a PR time and I felt really good.
And, this has all also reaffirmed my decision to run a full marathon. When you are no longer as excited about achieving a goal that you’ve reached, maybe it is time to move on to bigger goals.
Have a happy weekend everyone!