No offense to you avid, long-distance runners out there, but I’ve always thought you were crazy. I don’t see the need nor do I understand the desire to run for 26 miles. That’s why we have cars, scooters, bikes, roller blades, and skateboards! Right???
Honestly, the things that bother me most about running for that long are: “What if I have to go potty?” and “How am I supposed to have my bi-hourly snack if I’m running?” Yea, I eat something every 2 hours or I get really cranky. Imagine, here I am running mile 10 (wow, that seems like a lot, doesn’t it?)…and all of a sudden, I have to go potty!
Ok, back on track….entering mile 11…wait! Now I’m hungry! I have about 16 miles to go – if I don’t eat, I’m gonna be like an angry momma bear when I cross that finish line…but if I eat, I’ll get a cramp… What a dilemma!
Anyway, it just seems like a lot of unnecessary stress when you can easily avoid the whole thing by not running at all. Let’s face it, running long distances is not for me. In fact, running in general is not for me!
At least that’s what I thought.
Then, Elise emailed and asked me to do the Disney Princess Half-Marathon with her in March 2010. My initial thought was “no way” as I thought about all the aforementioned stress. Then, something weird happened. I read her email again, and it became a challenge of sorts, feeding into my competitive spirit. “Are you challenging me? Oh, now you’ve crossed the line! Let’s do this, sista! Oooh, and BONUS I’ll have to go SHOPPING!”
So this weekend, that’s exactly what I did. I went to Lloyd Clark Sports (I highly recommend them) so someone could watch me walk and help determine what type of support system I need in my shoes. The very first pair of shoes I tried on felt fabulous. SOLD!
Next up: socks. Cotton socks are not ideal for long-distance running because they retain moisture and can cause blisters. The salesperson recommended these Balega socks with Drynamix air conditioning fabric. One thing I loved about them is they have a small lump that sits around the middle of the Achilles heel to keep the sock from getting sucked into your shoe while you run!
While I was there, I decided to buy a couple of running shirts and shorts. If you’ve ever tried to run long distances in a cotton T-shirt, you know it’s miserable. Sweat makes the shirt unberably heavy and takes a long time to evaporate. So, I bought a couple of Asics shirts and Nike shorts that are very lightweight and have “breathable” material.
What else can I spend my money on??? Ahhh, every runner needs a good pair of sporty sunglasses, right?!Then, I ordered a Timex sports watch online. I can’t wait for it to arrive!
Ok, now that I’ve got all my gear…it’s time to get running! Elise and I have designed a 16-week training schedule that will begin on November 16, 2009. The schedule is set up so that we should be able to run 3-4 miles before we begin training so…I guess I’d better get started!
Last night, I donned my gear and ran 1.66 miles! That’s a lot more than I’ve run in the past year. In fact, it’s 1.66 miles more than I’m used to!
At the start of the run, I thought, “I feel so lightweight with all my new gear. Maybe I should run 3 miles today!”
Shortly after: “Ow, my knee is hurting! Note to self: look up knee-strengthening exercises to do.”
Then: “It’s so dang hot today. I thought a cold front was coming through. Where did the breeze go?”
“Ok, forget the 3 miles. That was crazy. I’ll be proud of myself for finishing this 1.66 miles!”
“Wait, what was I thinking? How can I run 13 miles in March!? Is it too late to back out?”
“The…end…is…so…close… I…can…make…it…. Phew! I…think…I’m…gonna…hurl!” (Don’t worry, I didn’t.)
Finally (30 minutes later): “That wasn’t so bad! I can’t wait til Wednesday when I have time to run again!”
After I got home, I did a little strength training with free weights and some crunches. If you’re just joining us on this blog, my dog Nani has a licking problem. Seriously. She goes especially crazy when someone is working out or doing crunches. This is what I came home to yesterday and endured for what felt like an eternity:
Anyway, here’s my challenge to you: Train for the half marathon with us! I’ll post the training shedule in November. Until then, get yourself comfortable with running 3-4 miles at a time. A friend recommended MapMyRun.com for determining the length of your runs (thanks, Jeanette!). You can do this!