November 26th, 2010
Now that I have completed my half marathon and had some time to assess it, I’ve devised a plan to improve.
My longterm goal is to run in the same event next year and be ready for the marathon. Everything I do is with that goal in mind.
First I need to improve my times. I have two more half marathons that I will run in, one in January and the other in February. My goal for January is to be under 2 hours 20 minutes and February be under 2 hours 10 minutes. After I can do a half marathon in less than 2 hours, I’ll enter a 20 mile event. Hopefully that will be around May of 2011.
To actually improve my time, which means run faster, I have added bleachers to my run schedule. That is the closest thing to hills that we have around here. I did this for the first time a couple weeks ago and my calves were burning. I’ll do this for 30-45 minutes 1-2 days a week.
I’m also running farther. I generally covered a total distance of about 25 miles a week. Now, I’m shooting for 35 each week. If I get 30 I’ll be happy, but I really want the full 35.
I read a story about a woman in her 70’s and within a year she had shaved an hour off her marathon time by running an extra 10 miles a week. Her time went from being around 5 hours to 4! That’s inspiring.
I also learned that running is more a mental game than anything. I’m convinced that doing this takes a lot of discipline. Most days I really don’t want to go. It’s not super thrilling and can start to feel monotonous. I think I really I do this for the feeling I get when I’m done. It feels good to look back and see what you’ve accomplished.
I’ve become convinced that anyone can be successful at running. I started doing this after I gave birth to my first daughter. I couldn’t even run then. I was walking 3 miles a day. I’ve spent several years slowly working my way up to where I am and looking back on my success really makes it worth it. Good luck to anyone out there who wants to start, you can do it!