One week away from the halfway point of training...so it seems perfectly natural for the bouts of doubt to start crowding in my mind. I went back to see when my big "freak out I should just quit" moment was for the half marathon...it was week 7 and week 8...so I'm pretty much on time. The miles are daunting but what I am worried about the most is that I have yet to hit the open road. Everything has been on the treadmill since I completed the half marathon in early June. I could use the excuse that the weather has been hot and humid, but that is not really the reason. There are two actually - - 1) I am afraid that the pain will come rushing back and 2) I want my training walk/run paths for the marathon to be different from the ones I used for the half marathon. The good news is...I will get past these two hurdles this coming weekend. I will push the fear aside and set forth on the new paths that will inspire me as I go after those 26 miles. I took a picture of my official long distance training gear...very Maryland. I would not have imagined that the UMD running shorts that my sister gave me for Christmas last year would end up being perfect for the journey I would take during the summer/fall of 2013.
Despite my freaking out, it was a good training week...I only missed one walk/run on Thursday...but I did strength training that day so I clocked some form of work. I have decided that is unrealistic to think that I can clock time at the gym two times or for two different activities on the same day. In keeping with this, I made a big decision and dropped Pilates on Monday nights. The level of stress it was causing knowing I had to get to class by 7:30pm and then to have to do a 45/60 min walk/run after was too much. At this point, I really just need to start honing in on things for the second half of training (10 weeks to go!!)...hydrating, eating smarter, and resting. Right now sticking with my training plan (with limited variation) is comforting. I do love to check things off of lists...and I just don't have the energy to do more than what it has outlined for me to do. The plan is structured the way that is for a reason.
Given a busy errand filled Saturday AM, I decided to do my 12 miles on Sunday. It was the first time I had done a 3/1 mix (3 min. walk/1 min run)...it made for a really fun experience actually. I felt like a true rockstar for the first six miles...I felt graceful and sleek and unstoppable. From six to ten...I was still feeling pretty good...not as unstoppable...I was hydrating more and popped a couple of Gummi Lifesavers. From 10 to 11 was torture...when I got to 11 miles I felt really out of it...I wasn't exactly seeing stars...but I actually had to slow down and stop altogether. I sat down on the edge of the treadmill to get my barrings...had a bit more water and popped a few more Gummi Lifesavers. I took my time...it was probably less than five minutes...all the while knowing that I was going to get that last mile no matter what. I got my 12. Done!!
While I was plugging away at the miles, I was thinking about my good friend N who was in Texas doing her first Olympic Distance Triathlon. She is one of my biggest supporters...she is an Iron Girl...she can do anything she puts her mind too. Because she can, I know I can. I was lucky enough to be able to cheer her on when she did her first Iron Girl. I had a Giraffe (her favorite animal) balloon flying high in the air in hopes that she could see it while racing...especially during the swim. See her swim, bike, and run her way to the finish line was something I will never forget. Part of the reason why I am going after these 26 miles (and got 13.1 miles in June) is because I knew that she believed I could do it. That is what it is all about really...believing. I believe that I will get 26.2 miles on October 12.