I’ve never been a party animal, more like a pumpkin-head. When I was in high school I had an early curfew…I’m not sure it was even midnight, more likely 11 p.m. Nevertheless, my sisters and I related it to Cinderella needing to be home by midnight or else her coach would turn into a pumpkin. We coined the phrase “pumpkin head” to explain our need (curfew aside) to be in bed by midnight or be a wreck the next day. (The term popped to top of mind because when we were younger, our dad used to make up stories for us involving three girls named Pigtail, Ponytail, and Pumpkin Pie.)
Nothing has changed along those lines; I still need my sleep. Lately, however, I have been spending more time with my friends and family at many celebrations and simultaneously working hard at my running. I’ve been rather exhausted and feeling my pumpkin-headedness. So when a co-worker told me that if I could run 6 miles three times a week, I could run a half-marathon, I scoffed at her. Then I slept on it and realized she was right.
The next day, I walked into her cubicle and said, “I’m going to do it…I’m going to run the Women’s Half-Marathon! Will you do it with me?” She said yes…and even though this is one of my 50 by 50 goals, to run the half before I’m fifty, she just said yes to running it on her own 50th birthday! Woo Hoo! Women Power!
So, I started looking into training plans and quickly found that although there are numerous programs for training for a 5k or 10k, the majority of advice on training for a half marathon points to Hal Higdon. I reviewed his 12 week training programs and picked the Novice 2, which assumes you are running 6 miles three times a week—BINGO! It seems a bit too easy at first, making me want to jump ahead a few weeks…but I won’t.
The plan has me running three days in a row, something I’ve consciously avoided to-date, but at only 3 or 4 miles a day. Those runs are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Friday and Monday are rest days. Saturday is the day to increase distance, starting at 3 miles and building to 11 the week before the half-marathon. Sunday is for cross-training (maybe a swim?). I think I can do this! No, I KNOW I can do this!
So, I put my money where my mouth is and signed up. Then I signed up for a 10k the month prior…part of the training plan. So, now I am in the planning phases. The twelve-week plan will start two weeks from Monday…meanwhile, I’m going to Chicago tomorrow for a grand wedding/party weekend where I will party hard and have lots of fun with no calorie counting or running involved!
In planning my training, I found that I should not try to lose weight while training for the half-marathon. Uh oh! I still have about 30 pounds to go and if I can’t lose weight during the 12 week training, that severely cuts back on when I can do so. I’ve decided that on Monday, I will go into weight-loss mode and keep it up through not only the two pre-training weeks, but the early training weeks that require fewer miles per week than I’m already running. After that, I will need extra carbs in my daily diet to power my long runs without exhausting myself.
Find the Joy in the Journey…and the Joy in pushing yourself beyond what you ever thought you could do!