Monday, December 13, 2010

February 27th, 2011

I've come full circle and am now registered for the Hyannis Half Marathon on February 27th, 2011.  Last February, I ran this half marathon as my first, and was hooked.  But more importantly, one year ago, I began training for my first long distance race.

I've had several people ask me why (seriously--there's no follow up, it's just the single word).  Usually, they will continue to say they ran a mile about a month ago and almost died.  There's an unasked question of "how" that is implied in the "why" and I'd like to try to answer that.

Training is an interesting thing.  For me, it is the reason I became a long distance runner.  I did not run so that I could run, I ran so that I could do a half marathon.  The 13.1 miles looming in my future provided the fuel for running, and running most days out of the week made it a habit. 

A year and some months ago, I was one of the incredulous "why" asking people with an implied "how."  For a quite literal answer to that, here is how:  Sign up for a race.  Make it a hard one (like, say, a half marathon).  Then follow this schedule:

Courtesy of Hal Higdon (
The other "how," the less literal and more, I don't know, inspirational, is just get out there and start running.  Hate it if you want, detest it.  Let yourself feel those feelings.  It doesn't matter, though, you just have to do it.  There's a reason Nike's motto is what it is.  No one likes sweating and hurting.  But trust me, eventually, the hurting goes away.  You should probably learn to like sweating.

Eventually, it also gets easy.  After awhile, you're going to start to look forward to running.  Trust me, it's worth the effort in the beginning. 

After taking a small break from serious running, I'm also having to put in the work to get out there and run.  It's tough to make a priority sometimes, especially in this busy season.  Fortunately, I've graduated from the above schedule, which is "novice," and am now working on the intermediate one.  It's a small victory, but totally worth it.