I'm finally making good on a goal I set out to accomplish a year and a half ago. Ready to commit to running a half marathon, a freak snowboarding accident changed my plans and had me out of commission for 10 weeks. At the end of healing, I was just happy to be walking again and quickly forgot about my earlier racing plans.
Running is not something that comes naturally to me. Even though I've had my moments of consistent sessions hitting the pavement, it's been an up and down battle sticking to it. I love the feeling after a run, the sweat and knowledge that I've done something beneficial for my mind and body. The hard part has always been kicking it into gear. I've spent the last 8 years doing the minimum to keep my body in "running shape" without testing out my capacity. I'm not sure when all of a sudden I decided that pushing my limits was exactly what I needed to do... Maybe it was because I re-established my goals and realized this was one that I've never followed through with? Maybe it's because I date one of the most athletic men I know who can run a half marathon on a Tuesday morning? Maybe I was just bored with my run around Greenlake? Whatever the reason, I received a support boost from Jared and found myself signing us both up for the Lake Padden Trail Half Marathon on October 18th. So not just a half marathon, but now a trail half marathon with elevation gain. I've started my training and already can feel a shift mentally and physically. For the first time in a while, I'm not complacent with my workouts. I'm pushing it with more miles, uphills and trail runs. I love it and hate it. Exerting myself on a grunt uphill, I'm not sure whether I am going to pass out or throw up. If I break at the top of a hill I feel like my heartbeat will never slow down. My lungs are expanding faster and bigger than ever and the sensation is that they might burst out of my chest. Focusing on nothing but more oxygen and steadying my breath, it may take a few moments to recover, but those are the moments I think, "damn I feel alive."
So far. So good. But I need help. To all the athletes, runners and marathoners out there.... What do you do to prepare for a race? What songs get you pumped up to run? What is your favorite protein snack? What is your favorite motivational quote? What helps you stick to your training schedule?
Thanks in advance for any tips, advice, suggestions!