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Training for the Columbus Half Marathon: A Slow Couple of Weeks

Training for the Columbus Half Marathon has hit a slow couple of weeks. Instead of focusing on the running I’m not doing right now due to a flare of my back injury, I thought I’d share some other things I’ve learned about myself and running over the past two weeks.

 

I like running in the evening.

I got my real runner shoes this summer when I got up at o’dark o’clock and went for a five mile run before my husband left for the fire department on his shift day. I also ran at stupid o’clock both on vacation at the beach and while working in Chicago. I learned during that time that while running in the morning gets it out of the way for the day, sometimes a necessity due to scheduling problems, I’m not a morning person. I’m not. I never have been. I’m not going to magically become one just because I’m one of those crazy people that like running long distances.

The weather reminded itself that summer is still upon us and decided to get hot again. Thus, running midday during my lunch hour — as I do during the winter months — isn’t an option. (Especially after that whole near heat exhaustion thing. Lesson? Learned.) And so, I’ve forced myself out the door after the boys get in bed at 7:30 a few times over the past two weeks. And? Despite the burping of whatever it is that we ate for dinner, I love running in the evening.

It helps that we eat dinner at old people o’clock, somewhere between 4:30 and 5:30 depending on schedules for the day. My food has time to settle and digest a little bit, so I only almost throw up tacos or spaghetti or whatever it is that we’ve eaten for our evening meal. My speed isn’t what it is during a mid-day run (though it’s faster than a stupid early run!) as I’m a bit tired from being a human being by the time 7:30 rolls around, but if forced to choose between losing some speed and losing some sleep, I suppose I’ll go with speed and stay in bed until 6:30. By the way, my college-aged self would be horrified to know that by my 30’s, I’d view 6:30 as sleeping in.

I imagine as the weather cools off and the evening runs aren’t a necessity to avoid melting, I will switch back to a mid-day run. Until then, please try to avoid running me over as dusk settles. I wear bright clothing and have a light. You? Should probably quit texting and driving. Seriously. You’re less than 100 feet from your driveway. Put. The. Smartphone. Down!

Plus, I get a lot of this while running in the evening.

Evening Sunset While Running

Winning.

 

I’m jealous of runners in bigger cities.

The jealousy doesn’t stem from city running; I love running where I live. I have just enough hills, just enough flat, and all the scenery while I’m running.

I Run with the Cows

I’m jealous of running groups. I read posts like this one about Birmingham’s running community by Tanya at All In Stride and I feel a little green with envy. I do searches occasionally for running groups in my city. Nothing on Meetup.com, nothing in the MapMyRun forums. Nothing.

Sometimes running is a little bit lonely.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I love the silence and solitude of running. To escape for an hour or two and not be touched or asked 87 questions about procreation or need to break up yet another argument between the boys is just what I need some days. I need space and time to myself. I need to breathe, even if the breathing is a little labored. Even if I wasn’t running, I would need that time and space.

But sometimes… when I watch other runners talk about running with a friend or a group, I wonder if it would help my speed or my endurance or even just be slightly more enjoyable. Also, when I’m on a route that isn’t in my direct neighborhood, I often get a nagging worry that I shouldn’t be all alone. You know, like that time I tried to kill myself with the heat. Then I worry that a group or a running partner would make me push myself too hard or hold me back or annoy me, and I shrug off the desire to find a group and hit the trail. By myself.

It would help if my husband would run again, but for now, it remains just me and the road.

 

I’m not good at taking breaks.

Not good at all. I’m so mad at my back right now. I have all of this angry energy and I just want to go run. Right now. Who cares about the heat or the pain? Obviously, this isn’t a smart idea. So instead of running, I’ve been looking for other races.

I’m considering running the Salt Fork Trail Challenge, a 10 mile trail run on Saturday, November 16. It’s only 6 days after the Pittsburgh 10 Miler, and I’ve never run a trail run before, so the logical part of me is saying, “No, end your 2013 race season with Pittsburgh.” The other side of me is saying, “OMG, THAT HOODIE. MUST HAVE THAT HOODIE.” I’ll be looking up information and tips for trail runs before October 1, when cost goes up again. But I do love me some Salt Fork. We’ll see.

 

Hopefully in two weeks, I’ll have more to report on actual training. I’m giving my back two more days to un-flare itself before I call the doctor. I did have a flare during my last training season, so I’m hopeful this is just a minor setback like that, and I’ll be back out on the road sooner than later.

15 replies on “Training for the Columbus Half Marathon: A Slow Couple of Weeks”

Thanks for linking to my post! I too love solo runs and the peace and quiet it brings me, but I love running with my different groups! It’s like a big party and you don’t even notice the miles passing by.

Do you know any other runners in your town? What if you started your own group? Or is there a town nearby that has group long runs?

Nope. Welcome to rural America! We have all the space but none of the people. As for starting one, I don’t have the personal bandwidth for something of that nature at this point in my life. I need to show up and be told what to do, you know? Between volunteering for All of the School Things and All of the Church Things and that whole Full Time Job, I really want someone ELSE to spearhead just this one thing in my life. lol

Eating Old People Early has its advantages! Also, we ate at nearly 6:30 on Sunday evening — and I had a blood sugar crash as we sat down to dinner. Oops?

You+me+if we can ever find an evening to meet up= an awesome run together! Let’s try that sometime!
I agree- your town/area is a rough place to be a runner. I did it solo for many years down there. I wish things were more active for you.
Hope the back figures itself out and you can return to training. :)

OMG YES. You’d have to slow down a bit because OMG YOU HAVE THE SPEED. But yes. That sounds PERFECT. After the school year settles in, let’s make something work.

One of the things unloved best about Chicago was the 5k. It was fun running with people :). I do run with the girls sometimes and like it, though I have to have my “mommy mode” on and it isn’t quite as relaxing. We are close enough to run together, but we barely make coffee most of the time!

I like running in the morning, because then I get to enjoy that awesome NOTHING CAN STOP ME NOW feeling all day long. But running at dusk in the winter is especially lovely.

I hope you’re back to training soon!

I *think* I’m going to run this evening. I have some pain this morning, but we’ll see how it shakes out. (Also one reason why evening running sometimes benefits me. Stupid body!)

I want to come run at Salt Fork because that hoodie is awesome! Lol. My friend told me race swag gets better as I run longer distances.

I think everyone has their happy time for running…I’m definitely more of a morning person! I typically do run with a group but the thing about NYC is that even if you’re running alone, you’re still running in a group! There’s just no way to get away from it all, and it does get kind of irritating!

This is a fabulous point. I think the CONSTANT PEOPLE would drive me batty. There are two other runners in my immediate neighborhood (males, one is a college student so he just left again) and we have never, ever run at the same time. EVER. So it’s always just me, the one lady in the orange jacket who walks her dog, and the occasional walker.

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