Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hamilton Half Marathon... I can't believe we actually signed up! NOVEMBER 2, 2014

On Sunday at Wellwood, Rebecca pointed out that there was a half marathon on November 2, in Hamilton.  My first instinct, was 'Are you insane?  I am no where near ready for that!'  Then, I think it was Joy, pointed out that in fact we could drop out at any point and we did not have to complete if we did not want to.  I thought about it and it is true that my goal is to complete the Miami Marathon but in fact, I can walk however much of the Hamilton one as I feel is possible.  And when else would I get the chance to walk on the Red Hill Parkway?  And in fact, it was  good experience to go through the marshalling and everything since the Marathon season here is going to shut down soon and I would rather not go through the operational part of being in a marathon on Feb. 2, for the first time.

Marc and I talked about it.  We agreed that it was worthwhile as an exercise in training.  So, this morning, I signed us up.  Now you know where I will be on November 2.

Suddenly, instead of being in training mode, we are actually in pre race mode which means not  to train too hard.  So for the next couple of weeks, we won't be making insane kilometer gains in our walks.  The guy at the running room suggested that we not go further than 10K.

I see why actually.  Last week, I had a crazy week spending at least 60 hours on my feet with United Shabbat.  And the day before that I had walked a 10K.  So I missed walking and on Shabbat, we went for an 8 k. walk.  My leg was sore throughout that walk and I pushed through it anyways, because I missed (missed as in not doing something you like to do) walking when I was working that insane week. Then, Sunday, I walked Wellwood, my first timed race. I was in poor form, could not get into my stride (falling didn't help but I don't think that was the main issue) and my leg hurt the whole time.

After Sunday, I took a couple of days off.  And then one more, to be sure I was fine.  Last night, Marc and I walked 7 k and after the first couple of klicks, I hit my stride again. My time improved, my body felt almost liquid, even working hard, my breathing was better.

When we got home, I researched the concept of hitting one's stride as it relates to walking or running.  I found that this is very common and that most people don't particularly enjoy the first couple of klicks or even miles, when they are serious and regular athletes.  To me that is profoundly interesting.  In fact, it's just one more of those things to be grateful that my own body, fat though it is, reacts like everyone else's given the same stressors.  I am so normal, and this is really quite a mental breakthrough.

Why?  Well, remember that I had to make the change back to pre race mode.  So, short walks will be 6k or so and longer 10k until the Half on November 2.  So, on the one hand, I was feeling like I should train harder, because I really have only been doing this for a short while, but I keep telling myself that this  will not be in my best interest.  There have been a number of indicators that I am just like everyone else regardless of size and not to trust that feeling  and somehow think I am unique is not going to serve me well.  And then there was what the Running Room guy pointed out which I had also read online.

In two weeks, you will not lose fitness, even if you don't work out at all.  On the other side, in two weeks, you won't make great improvements either, because our bodies take time to increase in fitness especially (since rest is part of the increase-increases actually happen during rest.)  That said, there is not a darn thing I can do but train the way you train a couple of weeks before a race, because to do so will put me in the same position i was in in the Wellwood race.  Exhausted, miserable and unable to really enjoy the race.

To boot, my goal is not to finish here.  THAT is my goal for yachad.  Not that I won't continue if I can, but the deal is that I stop when I am ready to stop, and use the experience, not do something I dont believe I am ready for. 

I know it is a fast course because it is downhill, so it's possible that I can go farther than I expect.  Remembering that one of my longest walks was about 13.5 k which is actually 2/3 of the distance.  I don't have any goal though, other than participating.

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