Hitting the Wall

Today I’m talking about half marathon training.

Now I’m not a pro who can bust out a solid 10 miles without any effort at all. So if that’s you, there’s a good chance you’re not going to sympathize. In that case, humor me for a bit.

Because I clearly hit a wall about two or three weeks ago.

Don’t get me wrong.

I love long races. I love doing them. They’re fun. They’re motivating. And, dare I sound sappy, they’re somewhat inspirational because I’m running in a crowd of like-minded and strong individuals. At the end of the race, I’m awarded with a medal, a beer, and a fantastic feeling of accomplishment.

What’s not to love?

Well. I’ll tell you.

1. The schedule.

Even if you’re fooling yourself into thinking you’ve got a sweet “Non-Plan Plan” going, you don’t. There’s always something in the back of your mind saying “this needs to be done today- don’t put this off any longer!”

Some days it feels more like a chore than a hobby. Which is sort of the opposite of what you’re going for.

2. The eating.

Am I getting enough calories? Protein? Carbs?
Am I not getting enough?
Should I eat this instead of that? But what if I really would rather eat that?
Can I have more than one glass of wine tonight?
Remember what happened last time you ate too much pizza before your workout?

UGH. Some people lose weight during training. Some people gain. And I understand how both can easily happen. This time around I haven’t mentioned it here, but have been using MyFitnessPal.com to keep everything balanced. I’m happy to report I’ve kept from being in major caloric deficit without the worry of having an extra flap of belly to lug over the finish line.

Will I continue logging food when training stops? Hell to the no. It’s a hassle. And I’d rather not feel bad for logging an extra cookie or drink here and there. Life’s too short.

3. The stuff that goes on outside of working out.

Random happy hour in an hour?
Did you just ask me out for dinner tonight?
A trip out of town this weekend?

Let me move about a million things around. Or I think if I get up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday, I should be able to fit it all in. Nevermind the fact that I’ll be exhausted and a bit spacey afterwards.

Basically, if you want to hang out with me (especially on a weekend), I need about 2 or 3 days notice to be ok with it.

It’s the obsessive compulsiveness mixed in with the training schedule. I can’t stop it.

Basically those are the main things that make me nutty by the end of the 3 months. It’s time to do this thing and celebrate the hard work. I’m SO ready.

But here’s the funny thing…

Totally going to do it again.

And again.

Because if I don’t? You’ll see me complaining about having zero motivation to do anything. No goal in the near future also makes me nutty. And a bit lazy.

It’s a vicious cycle. Full of ups and downs the entire way. The ups are those days where you totally kick ass at a long run. The good exhaustion after a sweat session. The extra few fries you could care less about eating because of the extra couple of miles you ran. It’s sweet. But for every good thing, there’s the flip side mentioned above.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different outcome each time.

I, my friends, am insane.

Hot Chocolate 15k 2011

Hello there!

Enjoying daylight savings? I’m not. My internal clock is all up in a tizzy.

However, I did find out TBS plays Saved by the Bell SUPER early on Sunday mornings. So there’s a win.

Another win? Finishing the Hot Chocolate 15k with a new PR!

Obviously, that makes me feel like this:Yay!

There were doubts. Because even after listing out all the things I knew to do better from last year’s disasterous run, there’s a pretty good chance I did not learn anything.

For example, there was only one long run done outside. And none in the colder(ish) weather. My bad…

That was ok, though. Going into the race, I really just wanted to have a good run with my friend. And it was a gorgeous day to do it:Not a cloud in the sky. And even though it was low to mid-40’s, the sun made the temps feel so much better.

Already better than last year.

What also made the race better? The bigger race course- it was ALL on the streets (unlike the narrow lake path last year). I only felt a little claustrophobic from race congestion for the first mile or two. As did the two girls who collided and ate serious asphalt around the second turn. It was a cringeworthy fall to watch.

My friend and I stayed together and kept a pretty good pace up until entering the 5th mile. That’s where he started to slow down and shooed me along. Little did he know, I was feeling the fatigue, too, but slowly crept ahead anyway.

The 6th mile is where I hit a major wall. The entire mile SUCKED. I wanted to walk. I was tired. My body was starting to ache.

It cannot be stressed enough- the 6th mile was AWFUL.

My stride came back in the 7th. My legs knew the end was near and picked up the pace to get this business over with.

From there on out, it was a breeze.

Wait, I take that back.

What genius makes the last .3 uphill?

And what genius lined that stretch with event photographers? There were 3. And I imagine those 3 pictures will look like this:

1. A pained expression because the hill started. Not realizing a picture of me is being taken.

2. An annoyed expression because the hill sucks and I cannot believe they are documenting this hot mess.

3. Me laughing at the ridiculousness of what is going down. This may also look like slight delusion.

Final stats:

8:30 pace.
1133/9067 out of the females.
311/2324 out of my division.
2860/13430 overall.

Oh, and about a pound of chocolate was consumed after…Yes, I do run for chocolate.

Once again, I traded the apple and banana slices for extra pretzel rods. Fruit should not be allowed anywhere near my plate…

In summary, this race ended up being way better than my experience last year. The course was better, there was better overall organization, and I was much more prepared.

Oh happy day…Enjoy your Sunday! I shall be lounging. And after looking at the race pictures, I think I’ll also be repainting my nails. Word.


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