May 21, 2009 at 10:45 am | Posted in running, weekend, yoga | 3 Comments
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I am running a half-marathon on Sunday. I write this not to self-glorify, but to ask why. Why am I doing this? I am a remarkably slow — steady and consistent, but slow — runner. I run a 10-minute mile when both sprinting and slogging. My knees turn in and my legs flail out (to the point where little kids watching me run often imitate me mockingly. Quincy once kindly told me I was like a young calf, or colt, but, in short, it’s not pretty). I’m a fair-weather runner. I like to run at 7 a.m. on a spring or fall morning, or just before sunset on a similarly warm but not humid day. I like to run with my iPod. And I like to run with people who will run slowly enough to chat with me — the list is short! In no way do I consider myself a “real” runner, such as my marathon-running husband who will head out for his “usual” 12-mile Sunday run no matter the weather or, as I’ve noted previously, no matter how much wine he has consumed the night before.

I’ve run one marathon (when 13 years younger and 13 pounds lighter), and two other half marathons. When I’m “training” for one of these longer races, I have to remember that I feel like crap until I have run for about 45 minutes. Then I feel good for about 30 minutes, and then I feel like crap again. Usually, it’s blisters, or just plain aerobic fatigue. Why do I sign up for these races? (1) I feel like I need to get in shape, and the looming challenge of a race is all that will motivate me and (2) that’s about it.

Here’s what does feel good: after you come home from an eight, nine, or 10-mile training run and are showered and have eaten whatever you feel like because you’ve just burned 2,000 calories and then and walk around ever so slightly sore in the hips for the rest of the day. Here’s what also feels good: sitting in a diner immediately after the race, salty sweat dried on your face, proudly wearing a race-issued long-sleeved t-shirt, drinking a chocolate milkshake or coffee and eating diner pancakes. And, also, knowing that a six-mile run is no longer a daunting, long-ish run, but, rather, just an everyday run.

Sunday will be tough. The longest run I’ve done while training this time around is 10 miles (for previous half-marathons I’ve gotten in 12 miles), but I will excuse this with balance this out against my full-time job. I ran 6.5 on Tuesday (felt good), 4.5 this morning (felt awful, but will chalk it up to not drinking enough water last night? I hope?) and will run three tomorrow and will try to go to yoga on Saturday morning. And will then cross my fingers!




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  1. Go Kathryn! I know you can do it, and I’ll be cheering for you from wherever I am. If you’ve done 10 on your own, the race day crowds should help you go the extra three miles. Everytime I see races it makes me want to run again, such a great atmosphere. (Ps I am having a hard time imagining you 13 lb lighter: you are pretty slim as it is!)

  2. You will be awesome, K. 10 miles are all you need. Go go go!

  3. Good luck, Kathryn! I’ll be thinking thoughts of speed and endurance for you!

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