it all starts tomorrow morning, the training for the kansas city half marathon.
i like to start my training programs on a saturday. i don't know why but maybe it's because i started training for my first marathon a long time ago on a saturday and that marathon went very well. that's probably what it is. i hold on to funky bits like that.
i'm not too concerned about the miles required for the training, it's half of what i usually train for but i am concerned with how i'll manage this record heat we've been having for the last 27 days. yup it's official, we have had record heat for 27 days running - nuts!
i had a much easier time running when living in chicago. i love running in the cold. i do think i am a more heat tolerant runner than i've ever been but still i wilt faster than i did during my superfab lake michigan water side runs. ahh but i'll be there a bit later this year so i can reminisce.
in chicago, i would begin to melt once the temperature hit 74˚ or so, now that's cake. actually that's got to be cake since it's the latest low temp for the day down here. truly though, now i don't really begin to melt until the day hits the mid to upper 8o's which is pretty good. i do have to run slower but i run slow already so it's no damage to my running ego.
i've been in the mental prep zone for the past few days. visioning success works wonders for me. my brain is my greatest asset and my deepest darkest obstacle if i allow it to be so. anybody else out there like that? hmm, i bet there are some folky folk who understand.
i chose the training plan which you can see here. it's a run/walk plan by jeff galloway. i'll be racing with a friend and the run/walk is her preference. i'm doing for fun and the challenge so i'm cool with the run/walk choice. in fact it is my preference these days too.
i have fully run races from beginning to end. i usually run short races start to finish. but once i run/walked a marathon things changed. not only did i beat my time doing the run/walk, but i felt great after the race and fresh for the next day as well, so i am sold on the run/walk program. i don't care if folks think i'm a wimp. i'm not in the running of half marathons and marathons to win, i'm in it for the personal challenge and the rush of self satisfaction that occurs when i cross the finish line.
with the run/walk program, i can run faster for every run sequence than i can if i sustain running for an entire race. believe it! i did not the first time i trained with run/walk but looking at the time clock at the finish of that second marathon floored me. i had cut 40 minutes off my time. no way! yes way! oh that days beer was sweet.
when training, i only run/walk the long runs. the daily shorter runs i do straight, no stopping. sometimes when i feel good, i have to force myself to take those walk breaks but i do because it's all about training your body the rhythm and pickup pace once you begin to run again. it's good to note that the walking part is fast paced walking, it's not a snails pace chill out kind of stride, you keep moving and your butt is in high gear. the walking sequence allows you to check in on your body, check in mentally and it really does help to know that in 30 seconds you only have to run 5 or 7 minutes before you can walk again. an excellent way to trick your mind and break the long run into tiny bits.
funny but true story.
long ago when i was just starting to run and folks i am not a natural runner or athlete for that matter i signed up for a 1ok to see what it would be like to run with a lot of other folks around. well not only did i finish second to last, i was passed by several speed walkers. oh boy, that was rough. i tried to overcome those walkers but i just did not have it in me. there finally came a point when i knew i had to let them go or risk not finishing.
it was at that moment, the moment i let go that i began to laugh out loud. i lost it, really, here i was i thought, last and just passed by walkers. it cracked me up. i had a great time from there to the finish. they announced my name when i crossed the finish even though they were already presenting awards to the "real" runners.
i was informed at the finish that i was not last so i decided to stand at the finish line and cheer for the last runner who came in a minute or so behind me. the best part, everybody cheered for the last runner. they stopped the awards ceremony and really gave this runner a big dose of encouragement.
that was the day that i decided to stick with running. that display of solidarity has stuck with me and there are times folks when i create a picture of myself in the role of that last runner and imagine everyone cheering for me. that mental picture can carry me through a rough spot and sometimes that's all i need, a little something something to get me through a bump or two.
cheers to all of you folk who have ever cheered a runner on. you have no idea how important you are. rock on runner cheerers!
one weird thing though - if you look at the graphic, it says the seahorse fountain. they don't really look like seahorses to me. no matter, all i care about is the beer fountain located across the finish line. screw the t-shirt.