Monday, March 19, 2012

2 weeks until race day?

I've been so focused on the Vancouver Marathon, that I haven't given as much thought or due credit to my first race of the year: the April Fool's Half Marathon on April 1st on the Sunshine Coast.

It's funny how it works.... I worked my butt off to run 5km, ran my race in 2010. Then I was ready to challenge myself for a half marathon in 2011 and it was a BIG DEAL. Worked super hard for that, and kicked its butt. I was so proud of myself for accomplishing it. It made my next race, a 10km feel like a cakewalk. Now here I am training for a marathon, and not giving much thought to my half marathon.

It's not that I think completing a half marathon isn't a big deal. It most certainly IS, and I commend anyone who does the work to complete the distance or set a personal record (PR) for themselves. I will never (or so I hope...) forget how it felt to cross the finish line in Victoria last October. It felt amazing. It was a reminder of how far I'd come. It was a moment where I realized, very tangibly, that my life was changed. And it was ME who changed it.

I think the thing is that my goals have simply changed. It's not my focus race. I'm working toward a marathon and that's the prize I have my eyes on. That's all. If my goal was achieving a PR at a half marathon event, I'd be focused on that. And that is something that I will want to do this year (hopefully for my June race), just not for this upcoming race in two weeks. 

Realizing that it's two weeks away now means that I am starting to get excited. It's going to be a beautiful course, an event with nice perks (like awesome shirts and finisher medal), and an excuse to take a little trip to a place we don't frequent (the Sunshine Coast). But most importantly, it will be my one race this year that I get to run with my very dear running friend. Our goal is to have fun, enjoy the event, enjoy one another's company, and not worry about finish time. For me and my marathon training plans, this is just another training run, but with all the enjoyment of the racing experience added in (well, all aspects of race day except for one big one - I will not be pushing it to the limit to achieve optimal results....). I'm actually quite excited.

I feel a bit pretentious and worry that it sounds "braggy" when I say that this half marathon is simply just another training run. Oh no, I've become one of those people, have I? Most certainly not.... Or so I hope.....As I've said before, I'm proud to admit that I'm the fittest and healthiest version of me that I've ever been in my life. And on every 20km+ training run that I do at the moment in preparation for the marathon, I make a point of noting when I reach 21.1km (i.e., the distance of a half marathon). I smile to myself, take a deep breath, and (figuratively) pat myself on my back. Why? Because I never want to lose sight of what an accomplishment that distance is, even if at the moment part of me sees it as "only half" of my current goal. It is still a LONG distance to travel on foot, it's still takes a lot to get there, it's still hard to do, and something I worked hard to achieve previously. But each time I tackle the distance and go further, it gets easier and more enjoyable. It's like each week I get a reminder of how training for that distance of 21.1km changed my life, and yet I'm capable of so much more yet. I just ran my first 29km run yesterday and it was amazing. I'm only going to run further now. Watch out world!

So yes, in two weeks is my first race of the year, and I can't wait! Stay tuned for a race report and photos.

And yes, I'm also behind on promised product reviews. As I sort out my new routine with old work ending and new work starting, I'll figure out my blogging schedule too :-)

See you again soon!

5 comments:

  1. As I work towards trying to reach my first half, I have to admit I feel a little pathetic when talking to others who have completed 4 ironman competitions, qualified for the Boston Marathon and other such things but I think keeping goals SMART- specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely- means that you really can do whatever you put your mind to & commit to. So maybe for you, your SMART goal is a marathon whereas for my goal to be SMART right now, it needs to be focused on a 1/2... because it's not exactly realistic to go from running 10k to 42.2 right? 21.1 sounds like a great milestone to me!

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  2. Yes, a half marathon IS a HUGE milestone!!!! We can't compare ourselves to others. There's always going to be someone who's better than us at something. It's a downer to compare. It isn't about being the fittest person in your circles, but about working toward self-improvement, in fitness and in life in general!

    Which half are you working toward?

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  3. I am just a few weeks into training for the Scotiabank Half (June 24) as I have heard that its a great 1/2 for first timers especially. I have been running out of the running room on Denman & Georgia 2-3x week and that has I think made the commitment and even progress so far feels good... Although I have to admit 21.1 seems like a very daunting distance...

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    1. That also means I only have to get in 2 runs or 1 run and a cross training day solo... much more manageable for me.

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  4. The Scotiabank Vancouver Half is a fantastic race. That's so great that you're training for it :) It's a great first race because it's flat/downhill for the most part. It was both my first and second halfs in my life when I was 22 and 23 years old. I'm running it again this year for "sentimental" reasons. Would love to try to find you at the finish. 21.1km can seem daunting, but I assure you that if you're training for it smart, you will achieve your goal. :)

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