It has been two years since I ran my first (and only) half marathon. While it was not a terrible experience, it certainly didn't go as well as planned. I got injured about 6 weeks out, and my training was very limited. In fact, my longest run heading into the race was only 9 miles long. But... I did it! I even finished with a respectable time of 2:15:39.
Since that race, my running has been sporadic to say the least. I needed a break. I just didn't plan for that break to be almost a year. In that time, there has been a serious change in my body, and not one for the best. I knew if I was ever going to find a way to get my fitness (and body) back, I would need to put something on the calendar to hold me accountable and to stay motivated. I wanted a challenge. And so another half-marathon it is. I'm officially signed up for the Austin Half-Marathon on Feb. 16.
Training has been going well, considering I really didn't start getting more disciplined until about a month ago. I didn't run as much as I wanted to over the holiday, but I did manage to fit in an 8 mile run when we were in Oklahoma. Typically I do longer runs with my friend Nikki, but I didn't have that option. I sucked it up, and actually clocked my fastest time at that distance all on my own. It felt awesome!
Now that holidays are over and we're back to reality, I did a great job of sticking to a schedule this week. I did two kettle bell work outs, and ran 9 miles (all at a sub 10:00 min pace). Tomorrow morning I have a 10 mile (hilly) run with Nikki, and I'm actually looking forward to it. The weather should be nice, and it will feel good to find a steady pace that we can sustain for the upcoming race.
How many weeks make a habit? I know it's more than one, and I need to stay patient, positive, and motivated if I'm ever going to make the changes I so desperately want. That means one step at a time, literally, and working hard to make good decisions about what I put into my body. I don't want to count calories, and I don't want to cut all fun things out of my diet. I just need to be smart. This week was a good one, and I think it's important to at least stop for a second to acknowledge it. It feels good to feel like a runner again.