Have you ever been excited about something but at the same time were ready to get it over with? That is exactly how I feel about running the ING Atlanta next Sunday. I have a week until the race and I am energized, but also partly plagued with regrets and apprehension. My biggest regret is that my training has not been as disciplined and structured as I would have hoped. These past few months I have struggled to juggle everything going on in my life, so making time to seriously train for a half marathon added more stress. Every week I have questioned whether or not I am cut out to be a “serious” runner. It got so bad that half way through my 13 miler a few weeks ago, I had a “what the hell am I doing moment” during mile seven. As I struggled up a tough hill I started thinking about all of the other things I could be doing on a Saturday morning.
Just when I started to really feel frustrated, I got a much-needed boost of encouragement from one of the girls in my running group. It’s funny how these things work out, I didn’t seek her advice, but she came up to me after a run a said, “you are going to think I am crazy but…” She then proceeded to talk about how she prepared mentally for her last marathon and how the preparation helped her to push through the tough training days. Needless to say, it was exactly what I needed to hear. Here is the skinny on the rest of my training.
Modified Running Schedule – So, I started off with this really nice training plan that laid out how far I needed to run and on what days. Basically, that plan was thrown out of the door by week 2. I can only feasible dedicate three days a week to running. So, I do my long runs on Saturday and speed or hills on another day. The third day is a toss up of tempo or an easy run – basically whatever I can fit into my schedule.
Circuit training – Do you remember the post “ Dispelling Myths: Black People Don’t Run in the Cold?” Yeah, ummm about that. This winter kicked my butt, and by February I broke down and got a gym membership. The good thing is that I’m killin’ the circuit training! Literally, I’m a beast and to my surprise it’s really helping me on my long run days. I can tell that my legs are stronger and don’t get fatigued as quickly. Before getting the gym membership, I was doing a modified circuit at home with ten pound weights. Now I have added a few more moves and I’ve started using 12 and 15lbs weights. These modifications have greatly improved my performance.
Diet – I haven’t modified my diet very much while training. I am already a somewhat healthy eater, so I’m not sure how that is going to affect me on race day. I will be carb loading on Saturday and I’ve given up fried foods and red meat this week. Not because they are unhealthy but because I know those foods make me lethargic.
Spring is here and there are a lot of races coming up, how is everyone’s training going? I know there are quite a few of you who are running ING with me, are you feeling prepared for the race?