Saturday, April 11, 2009
Part 2: Training or Lack Therof
After being sufficiently nauseated at the realization of committing to run a half marathon, I threw up, broke into hives and jumped into training. Okay, okay, I did not throw up or break out into hives but I sure did feel like it.
I started training at a local park 5 days a week. Running the same loop over and over again. Sometimes I switched directions but it was pretty much the same thing every day. I started out running 2 miles then 3 and after several exhausting attempts, I finally made it to four. Getting up to the four mile mark was the most difficult part for me. As long as I could run past four miles, I could just keep going and going.
I was the only runner at the park each morning. Oh, there were lots of elderly people speed walking but no runners. I would pass the same man on my loop many times each morning. He would always smile and ask me how many loops I'd run, then chuckle to himself when I told him. I liked to think he was sufficiently impressed by my endurance but he was probably laughing at how foolish I looked running in circles like a dog chasing its tail.
I tried to only increase my distance by 15% each week in the beginning but my ambition got the better of me and I increased my mileage too quickly. Also, running was the only exercise I was doing. No cross training or weight lifting. I made many mistakes in training for my first race but not cross training or doing any strength training were the worst. More on that later.
After 5 weeks, I worked my way up to 10 miles. I felt ready to run the race but was so nervous that I was queasy most of the last week. I slept fitfully the night before the race and woke up full of jitters. Had I only known how the race would go, I would be much more nauseous and might have just stayed in bed.