On The Road To The Half-Marathon Again

Even though I didn’t run all week, I still needed to get in a 10 mile run today to keep on track with my half-marathon training. Only three weeks until the race. I’m in better shape than I was last fall when I trained for my first half-marathon, but it is so easy to slip back out of shape by missing run after run. I’m feeling better, so no more excuses.

I need to run outside…the treadmill is ok for the shorter runs and the occasional long run, but I’ve done all of my training, including a 9-mile run on mine. When I ran outside for the first time a week ago, I discovered that I’ve not been conditioning my legs and lungs for a long, outdoor race. The harder, more unstable surface outside left my legs more sore after a slow 6 mile run than a faster-paced 9-mile run on the treadmill.

I thought about the run all day long, but the day was a blur of activities with my daughter. The warmest part of the day was later on anyway. Running in the mid-thirties is far preferable to my last outdoor run at three degrees. I finally dropped her off for an overnight birthday party and got out on the road around 5 p.m.

I was dressed properly, including wearing calf-sleeves. I almost forgot them, then had a difficult time getting them on, but well worth the timimagee and effort. I wear them for my long runs and they keep my calves from cramping and generally help my calves keep the blood circulating properly. Having pulled a calf muscle and having “hit the wall” during a long run, I appreciate the proper gear.

As I ran, I was not sure whether or not I could make it for 10 miles. When I got to four miles, I knew I could take a short-cut back that was only two miles. Or, I could go five miles, turn around, and at six could take the short-cut. Knowing I had options somehow motivated me to run farther. I got to the five-mile mark and turned around. At the six-mile mark, I continued on back the way I’d come.

I had to overcome a few obstacles. I ran under a bridge twice where the path was iced over and there were a few flooded spots where I had to run through the packed-down snow off the path. All in all, though, the trail was fairly clear.

By the time I hit the ten-mile mark, I was exhausted. I slowed to a walk, then more of a hobble. I slowly made my way home, getting more chilled with each step. Back home, I hopped into a hot shower and congratulated myself. I am always in awe at how far I can go if I try. Three more weeks until the race. Maybe it’s time to sign up for a few more races so I can keep this momentum going.

Find the Joy in the Journey…keep on keeping on!

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