Half the distance does not equal half the accomplishment

Recently, I’ve been forced to face up to the realities and consequences of making tough decisions, whether my own or those of someone else. Before even moving out to Oklahoma, I had set this lofty (yet attainable) goal for myself of training for my first full marathon. That’s 26.2 miles. Yeah... I completed about 5 weeks of training with my awesome running group in Greensboro, NC (led by Marisa Pirih) before my move and have continued training on my own once I got to Norman, OK. The solo training has actually gone extremely well. I have run in three races (two 5K’s and a half marathon) in the past 6 weeks and with each one I beat my on personal record.

Somewhere along the way, life threw me a curveball and gave me new and unexpected (yet welcome) distractions that affected my sleep patterns. This in turn affected my training, of course. Getting up at 6:00 a.m. for hill repeats after getting only 4 hours of sleep is likely not the smartest move that I’ve made.

I can’t put all the blame on my lack of sleep, though. I have been doing quite a bit of traveling on the weekends when I should be putting in the miles for my long runs. Ironically, two of these weekends out of town were for races and I either didn’t have the energy or the time to squeeze in my long run.

Okay, so why am I giving a laundry list of excuses?

I have decided to scale back to doing the half marathon in Raleigh instead of the full 26.2. Yes, I’m disappointed, but I’m choosing to focus on all the positive aspects of my training, including my increased speed and distance, even if the longest run I’ve done is 17 miles. I’m going to have plenty of opportunities to accomplish this 26.2-mile feat. A runner friend of mine told me today that the peak running age is 46. There is absolutely no data (or truth) to such a claim, but it did emphasize that I’ve got several running years left in me.

Now for the revised goal:

Finish the Rex Healthcare Half Marathon in 2 hours or less.

I ran the Heels & Hills & Him half in 2:03 and that was in sunny 80° temps in TX (and with a half mile of walking). I’m thinking that even with the hills of Raleigh, I should be able to keep a better pace in the cool temperatures of NC at the beginning of November. If you find yourself in Raleigh at 7am on Sunday, November 1st, please come on out & cheer me on.