I’ve decided to write about training for the Cleveland Half Marathon every two weeks. Go.
I started my training for the Cleveland Half Marathon on Monday, January 21. I haven’t died yet, so there’s that. Not that I was expecting to exactly. It’s not as if I woke up on January 21st never having run before and just ran all willy-nilly out into the wilderness. Though, really, it could be done. However, I’ve been running consistently since August. I felt up for the challenge.
The weather decided to up the challenge as well. On my Wednesday, January 23rd run, it was 17 degrees. I had a tempo run of 5 miles. I don’t mind running when temps are in the mid-20’s. In fact, I even get a bit warm/too warm in the mid-30’s. But 17? That’s a cold run, folks. No two ways about it. But I did it, even if my husband’s grandfather called me silly.
17 degrees! Still Smiling!
My first eight mile run was on Sunday the 27th. And I did it.
I really got nervous about the distance, being my longest run ever. I did heed the advice of fellow runners on twitter the week before and ran seven miles. So getting to eight that Sunday was a challenge still, but one I believed I could complete. To say that I felt proud of myself is an understatement. I didn’t even hurt badly the next day; slightly sore thighs and a general “tired” feeling.
This past week brought not only cold temperatures but a whole lot of snow. I was supposed to have a four mile speed work run on Wednesday, but it ended up being solely a four mile run. It was 17 degrees again and I was just happy to bed getting it done. Then the snow started to fall, giving me a chance to try out my Yaktrax Pro for the first time on one of my two mile runs. I learned that it is a slightly different leg workout, and at the end of two, I wasn’t really sure I could run much more than two miles in Yaktrax.
My long run was on Saturday — another eight miles as it’s the distance I’ll be at for another few weeks. It was snowing to beat all and they hadn’t plowed our neighborhood yet. I could have put it off another day, but we were supposed to just get more snow, and my husband had to work. It was a “do it now or don’t do it” moment. I chose to do it.
Gettin’ my run on in the snow!
I ran eight miles in actively falling snow on unplowed roads while wearing Yaktrax. Yes, again, I was quite proud. I will say again that at the two mile point, I thought I was going to have to stop because of the way the Yaktrax were making my legs feel. Shortly thereafter, probably around 3.5 miles, my legs started to feel better (read: not burn!) and I fell into my groove. I certainly wasn’t fast, but I ran every last bit of those eight miles (and .09 more to get back to my driveway).
What I look like after 8.09 in the snow! I also got the mail.
I’ve learned a bit about myself the past two weeks of training.
- 1. I like running in the cold. Maybe not 17 degrees cold, but the cold is good for me. As someone who is constantly too hot, that wind works as an auto-cooling agent. I’ll take it.
- 2. When people say nice things to me when I’m running, I feel better. It was during my eight mile snow run that an older gentleman down the road yelled out that he used to run. I shared that I was training for the Cleveland Half and he said, “That’s great! You’re doing great! You keep it up!” Another older gentleman, shoveling snow, yelled out, “Love your determination!” Each time, I felt a surge of adrenaline. So if you see me running by, wave or yell something. Nice, that is.
- 3. I like music. I shared my playlist today. You should check it out!
If I can just get get through the snow of tomorrow, it’s supposed to warm up into the upper 30’s and 40’s for a little bit. I will be honest and say that while the long runs are still challenging, the distances of four and five miles are getting increasingly easier. I am pleased with my progress thus far and am looking forward to the next few weeks!
Have you started training for a spring marathon or half marathon yet? Which one? How’s it going?