When you are training for any run whether it be a 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon – you have to get your weekly miles in. Some races require more miles than others. The longer the race, the more miles…
As you know based on my fitness goals, I am running a half marathon on October 5th. Right now, that puts me 3 weeks out from race day. Needless to say, I am getting VERY nervous. I have cut out all alcohol & dairy from my diet. I am also only drinking water and one cup of black coffee a day. I have significantly increased my carbohydrate intake as well. Yesterday was my longest training run to date at 12 miles and will be my last longest training run. After this, I will slowly taper off on my long run (10 miles & then 8 miles) and pull back on my total weekly miles.
On these long runs, you come across some funny scenarios, interesting people & really interesting thoughts. This is especially the case when running through Boston. I go through almost 4 zip codes on my long runs. What else do you have to do while you run for 2 hours? May as well people watch.
So, here is how my morning went on 9/13…
7:00 am – Alarm went off. Really, Paige? What you are thinking? Press snooze.
7:15 am – Second alarm I had set for myself went off. Ok fine, I’ll get up.
7:30 am – Water is boiling for oatmeal, coffee is on, emptying dish washer. I could still go back to bed if I wanted…. nope, nope – you told yourself you would run 12 miles today and you are going to do it.
7:45am – Relaxed on the couch to eat my oatmeal, drink my coffee, and drink a lot of water.
8 am – Made sure to pick out the cutest running outfit I had to make this long run a little more pleasant. Debated between shorts and a long sleeve, long pants and a tank top. It was cool day in Boston at 55 degrees, perfect running weather. They always say dress like it is 20 degrees warmer for a run – so I settled on capri spandex and a tank top. Not that you care….
8:30 am – Out the door. Camelbak running belt ready to go full of water, Honey Stinger gummies (review to come), chapstick (I literally cannot go anywhere without it), my Charlie Card (in case I change up my route and get lost), iPhone & apartment keys. Looking back, I should have probably put my ID in there. Oh well, next time!
Now begins the run…
Mile 1 – I think to myself, what am I doing? I’m tired, I would rather be in bed. But I guess I should keep going. By the way, the first mile is the hardest. There is something about getting your muscles up and running (literally) & helping them wake up. Your body is not into the motions yet.
Miles 2 & 3: I think I saw every young couple along Beacon St. making out. It looked like every guy was leaving his girlfriends, one night stands, or hook up buddies apartment. They all sealed the overnight deal with a kiss for ALL to see. I run by each of them as the sweat starts to run down my face. Considering I have the worst poker face ever, the look on my face probably told them exactly how I felt.. disgusted. Oh, that’s why I’m running at 8:30am on a Saturday, I went to bed last night at 10pm and didn’t do anything crazy to result in that fun Friday night… well, at least I can run? Who needs those fun Friday nights anyways, training is SO much more fun…
Miles 4 & 5: This is where you body gets into auto pilot. At least my body does. I start to get into the motion of things and really warm up. I think that I can totally do this. I am motivated, and pick up my speed a little bit. I pop in a few Honey Stingers to give me the necessary carbs & take a swig of water to keep me hydrated. At this point, I am down by the Charles River. It was busy for a Saturday morning. I have come to expect that though. The running community is dedicated here in Boston. It felt good to not be alone. Even the little smiles people throw at you when you run by them keeps you going.
Mile 6: This is my mental block. Up until August 30th, the longest road race I have ever run was a 10k. Mentally, I know I can do 10ks. But, my mind just shuts down at that point. I pop a few more Honey Stingers in to see if that will distract me. I start to lose motivation, especially when running alone…. What should I wear tonight? Wait, what’s going on today? Oh, MixFest! Oh.. he’s cute. Wait, did they just finish their run? I’m jealous.
Mile 7: Thank god for these babes to keep me going… the MIT crew team. At this point I had run the length of one side of the Charles, and then over the bridge into Cambridge, MA. I look to my left as I start to swear to myself & questioning my sanity and see about a dozen shirtless men rowing on stationary rowers. Let me tell you, I think mile 7 was my slowest mile… because I was looking left and wanted to slow down to stare a little longer. What if I just yell my number out to them? Will they look? Hm.
Mile 8: Oops, I have to go to the bathroom. I thought I went before I left. Well, I did. Oh, yup, I have to go to the bathroom bad now. Starbucks won’t let me in without buying something, those are probably locked. 7/11? Worth a shot. I literally ran into the 7/11, asked the clerk if I could use the bathroom, he pointed the back of the store & sweet relief. Probably too much information, but for you runners out there, I think you know what I mean. There is nothing worse than going for a long run and having to go to the bathroom so bad that it hurts and you think you can hold it but you can’t.
Mile 9: Really? They are still doing this? My pace picked up since I went to the bathroom and was MUCH more comfortable. As it picked up, I ran right through a Planned Parenthood protest. I got yelled at for simply being a woman. Head down, keep running, don’t look up
Mile 9.5: Oh sweet Jesus, a hill? There is no freaking way my legs can handle this right now, my hips are on fire. But what do you know, “Work Bitch” by my girl B.Spears came on… I could not have asked for any better timing. Not only did I dominate that hill, it got my heart rate right up which is great for endurance training.
Mile 10 & Mile 11 : I could turn left and end up home. I’m sure that would be a good idea, I could start to settle in and start homework. I should probably do that. My toes hurt.. oh and that toenail that looks like it is going to fall off just might fall off.. or so it feels. No, Paige. Keep going. So, I did. I continued to the Chesnut Hill Reservoir. One loop around is just about 1.5 miles. I knew if I ended at that, I would be able to hit my 12 miles….
Mile 12: Just let me finish.
Training for a half marathon is not exciting, but it is exhilarating. But above all, it is rewarding. I enjoy those long runs and the time I have to myself. I enjoy the satisfaction that comes with finishing one of those runs. Despite how much pain you might feel, it is worth it.
Do I want to put my body through a full marathon? Running & training for a race is addicting…. so maybe, just maybe, that will be my next goal. Anyone want to join me?
Now off to yoga to stretch out those hips!
Keep training. Keep smiling. You got this.