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Monday, March 11, 2013

Thin Line Between Love and Hate

Today I began my next adventure, well at least training for my next adventure. June 2 I will be doing my first half marathon (13.1 miles). To say I am frightened would be a gross understatement. Running is not my favorite activity. I’m sure most runners have a similar love/hate relationship with running.

I hate getting up early (sometimes when it’s still dark) to get in my morning runs. I hate huffing and puffing up the same nasty hill near my house. I hate the pains all over my body as my feet slam into the pavement. I hate the runny nose I ALWAYS get as I run. I hate when my legs feel so tired I can barely lift them off the ground any longer.

It is no wonder so many hate this dreadful activity. For years, I was one who loathed it. I avoided it at all costs. I completely understand that hatred.

Then I started running. I ran my first 5K and I was hooked. They may be rare, but those days when you have a good run are amazing and addicting.

I love that I am able to get out and alone with my thoughts, to clear my head. I love that I am able to push myself past what I believed I could handle. I love the sense of accomplishment when I complete a PR (personal record) or a distance I never dreamed I could finish. I love the rush of endorphins. I love that it makes my most difficult days easier to manage.

For all these reasons, I continue to go back for more and continue to push myself. I may not be the fastest runner and I may not be able to run as far as some, but this is always a race against me, myself and I. I am my toughest competition. I love pushing myself to new levels and exceeding my greatest expectations. This is why I punish myself time after time, because there isn’t anything quite like a good run.

So I am pushing myself yet again and am doing a half marathon. This is going to be a stretch, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My run this morning was a short 3 miles with a decent hill at the beginning. My mile averages have been right around 10:00 give or take a few seconds. I’d like to average 10:00 on my half, so I’ll need to increase my speed a bit if I want to average that time over the long haul. Just one of many things to work on over the next few months.

Simply getting out of bed this morning was a task. Our ride Saturday (a fairly flat 42 miles on the trail), took quite a bit out of me. Between that and daylight savings, my sleep hasn’t recovered much.

Despite the darkness, lack of sleep and forgetting my earphones in the house after I locked the door (with no key to get back in) my run this morning was good. My average speed was 10:01, not bad considering the hill. The downhill portion does help quite a bit. ;) And now I’m on my way to my first half.

The view this morning. This picture doesn't do it justice.

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