This month was a doozy in terms of running. It was the first official month of half marathon training, and I had 72 miles slotted for the month. I ended up running 57 miles (with another 4 tomorrow, bring it to 61) because I skipped a few runs when I was sick and in California. Ultimately, I’m pretty pleased with this mileage, and I’ve completed almost 1/3 of my goal in just three months. Training for a race really racks up the miles.
I’ve learned a few things about myself as a runner this month. Running has given me hours to think and ruminate, so I have plenty to say about my experiences.
It’s extremely helpful to have a running partner who is a tad faster than you. It’s motivating & inspiring, but also sometimes annoying. Kristen can talk more than I can, and sometimes I feel like a weak link in our running conversations. But she’s always fine when I tell her, “I can’t talk this mile.”
Hill running is important, necessary, and I should stop avoiding it. I’ve had two of my most favorite runs this week on the same trail in Schenley Park. I had to walk for 15 seconds, but I’m okay with that. I can tell I’m getting faster and gaining more endurance by running this awful hills.
I am not eating enough protein. It shows in my diet, lack of energy, and lack of muscle rebuilding. I’m working on ways to include protein powder into my mornings and more lean meats throughout the day. I don’t want to feel so depleted the day after a run.
Running is helping me lose weight and stay fit. I’m maintaining a five-pound loss on Weight Watchers and consistently losing each week. Even better than that, I’m wearing a pair of jeans today that used to be uncomfortably tight. An added perk.
I am more at peace. I think this might be the most important thing I’ve learned. I feel restful. I feel more at peace and calm when I run. Running is my therapy (in addition to my real therapy). I don’t have a lot of work stress, but I do worry about what people think sometimes or stupid things like that. When I’ve finished a run, most of those worries or insecurities have completely left me. I especially like that.
In April, I am scheduled to run 100 miles. Wow, that sounds insane just writing it out. But I’m running high mileage on Sundays, and I’m still only running 4 days a week. I like this schedule quite a bit. Here’s to a good half marathon time (I’m hoping for 2:25 or better. That would be a 10-minute improvement from three years ago, and I think I can do it!)
EDITED TO ADD: I just realized there was one more day in this month, which brings my grand total up to 61 miles this month!