Training for the Columbus Half Marathon: What a Difference Two Years Makes

The Columbus Marathon is in 83 days, or in 2 months and 21 days. I have twelve weeks left to train for the Columbus Half Marathon.

Training for the Columbus Half Marathon

We flew all day yesterday, landing in inclement weather. We stopped to eat food, and drove the hour(plus) to our home. I briefly unpacked, only to get to the pink shirt I wanted to wear to run. I put on my new Asics that they sent me to give a whirl. And I was out the door within 20 minutes of walking in the door. I wanted to get that final run of week four done. And I did, albeit rather slowly.

New Asics

I felt proud at the time.

In retrospect, it was a bad choice. My back, due to flying and luggage dragging, and the general constant movement of conferences (like, uhm, dancing until 1 AM), is completely out. I burst into tears this morning trying to get out of bed. I am currently on the recliner with an ice pack, having taken the first Flexeril I’ve taken in over a year. I’m hurting, physically and emotionally. I hate that one bad back flare day can remind me of how bad it really got in 2012.

Let’s take a comparison shot shall we?

2012 and 2014

On the left, you’ll find me in 2012, just days after my back procedure while attending BlogHer ’12. I was mostly pain free, with a few leftover twinges. But I was severely overweight for my slight frame and the fact that I dealt with the feelings of my back injury by eating everything in sight. On the right, you’ll see me just after Voices of the Year this past Friday at BlogHer ’14. I see a slight tummy bloat because I had just downed two glasses of champagne and eaten two plates of food (I can’t eat before I go on stage; it used to drive my dad nuts!). But I see a healthy, happy woman who worked hard to lose 38 pounds. I’ve put five pounds back on since my lowest weight, and that was a personal choice as I didn’t think I looked or felt as healthy as I do in the range where I currently rest.

2012 me never would have woken up at 5:30 to go to the hotel gym with her favorite people.


And so sitting in the recliner this morning, looking at these two versions of myself, I can feel the panic welling up within my soul. Left Jenna was not only overweight, but she hated herself. She hated the pain and the way it affected her mental health. She hated looking in the mirror and getting dressed and leaving the house. At all. Right Jenna is mostly happy, still with the mental health issues she’ll always have, but in a general state of okay. She works hard at being healthy, both movement wise, with portion control. and regarding mental health. She loves spending time outside the house, whether running or with friends. Right Jenna is the Jenna I am meant to be.

A foggy morning run, earlier in the week

I have faith that the pain will dissipate and I can begin week 5 training for the Columbus Half Marathon someday this week. I may only end up with a three run week, but I’m going to have to be okay with that. I worked hard during week 4 despite traveling cross country and working my butt off at the conference. I am proud that 2014 Jenna knows that taking care of myself physically is very important, even while traveling.

What a difference two years makes.

Let’s look at runs for the week.

Monday, run 13: 3.09 miles, 32:00, 10:22/pace
Tuesday, run 14: 4 miles, 38:30, 9:37/pace
Wednesday: Rest day, cross-country flight day
Thursday, run 15: 3 miles, 30.09, 10:03/pace (DREADMILL)
Friday: Rest day, 6,832 steps at conference
Saturday: Rest day, 10,570 steps at conference including dancing until 1 AM
Sunday, run 16: 6.13 miles, 1:04:51, 10:35/pace

Again, I shouldn’t have run Sunday night. I wanted to get it done, so that this week wasn’t already behind schedule. I also wanted to prove to myself how different I am now, how dedicated I am, how much I have changed in those two years. Apparently I also wanted to prove how stupid I am and that sometimes, being human, I forget to listen to my body. It happens. I’ve spent the majority of today in bed, or reclined in the car, with an ice pack, with a heating pad, with a Salon Pas patch, with Flexeril, with water, with sleep. I’m hoping this is just a short-lived spasm like happned last training season.

Today is obviously a rest day, though I predict some sitting in my parents’ hot tub and maybe some laps in the pool to get my back to release. Week five of training brings only a one mile increase in my total distance, and not on my long run either. I’ll be running, 3, 4, 4, 6 (instead of 3, 4, 3, 6). As long as I can get my back to calm down and let go of my spinal cord, I should be okay. If all else fails, I may walk some of those runs just to keep moving. If I learned anything from my previous back injury, which lasted for a full two years, sitting still and feeling sorry for myself only makes it worse. The weight I gained while injured only made it that much harder to get better.

Here’s hoping week 5 will be okay.

2 replies on “Training for the Columbus Half Marathon: What a Difference Two Years Makes”

You are amazing! I live by “Everything happens for a reason, we just don’t always know the reason.”
Congrats on being selected for “Voices of the Year,” that is huge!
After such a high from the trip, maybe your body just needs a little R&R before you resume training. Sending you positive vibes for a healthy back.

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