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© 2018 Michele Matthews

Running Can Be Spiritual (Half Marathon Training)

March 6, 2018

The half marathon training continues.  By the way if you want to follow the progress in real time feel free to follow me on Instagram (@chelerene) and check out my posts and stories.  I ran 4 miles this morning in below-freezing weather and I did my long run on Sunday when it was so windy I thought I would fly away.

 

This 13.1 better be worth it. 

 

Most people that I know who run this type of race for the first time express that their only goal is to finish.  Well, that’s fine … for them.  I know I’m going to finish.  I want to finish in less than 3 hours.  I want to finish in two hours and 45 minutes.  At least. 

 

Two weeks ago, I did a long run of 7.5 miles

 

 

I completed the run in 1:31:50 with an average pace of 12’12”.  At this pace I was on track to finish the race in 3 hours.  Notice the splits:  my first mile was the fastest and I got slower with each mile.

 

 

So, this past Sunday I decided to change my strategy and push myself a little harder.  I intentionally started out slow and intentionally increased the pace toward the end

 

 

Mile 5 was actually a run/walk and I had it settled in my mind that there would be no walking the last three miles.  In fact, I tried my best to sprint.  As you can see, my final mile was the fastest at 10’24”.  I completed the run in 1:32:07 with an average pace of 11’30”.

 

 

Even though the distance increased by a half mile, my time only increased by 17 seconds and I took 42 seconds off my average pace!!!!!

 

 

Of course, those last three miles knocked me on my butt for a full two hours afterwards.  I planned to lie down for an hour after the run but my body decided that I needed to wait another hour.  So, I did.  Always listen to your body.  As I lay there in my bed recovering I began to think about how grateful I was to have improved my pace and how grateful I was that I was able at 53 to run 8 miles and live to tell the story.  Then this turned into me thinking about all the things that I am grateful for … my health, my kids, my family, my job, life, the sunshine … just everything.  Those long runs are killers if your mind isn’t right.  Mile after mile with nothing to do but run and think.  It’s a constant battle to not just stop.

 

I won’t stop.  I’m not only running for myself but also for people who wish they could but can’t.  I’m running for my kids so they can have a healthy mother.  Fitness, for me, is less about a healthy body and more about a healthy spirit.  It’s deep for me. 

 

It must be to get me out of the bed at 4:30am to run when it’s 28 degrees outside.

 

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