Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Training Snag

So I have to admit I've hit a wall in my half marathon training. It's not easy to talk about, but I'm in a cathartic mood this morning so I'm putting it out there for the world to see.

When the training began about 8 weeks ago, things weren't that tough. Run 3 miles here, 2 miles there...toss in the occasional 4 or even 5 mile run. I could handle that. I felt pretty good, like this half marathon thing was possible. Then, I did a 6 miler for my long run and felt so weak. My short runs during the week are now up to 4.5 and even those short runs are getting tricky for me to complete. I did a 7 mile last weekend that took forever, and am dreading the 8 mile I have to do this weekend.

There are a lot of negative thoughts in my head about running right now. First, I can't seem to focus on anything except for how slow I am. It frustrates me that it takes SO long to complete 6 or 7 miles when other people can whip them out in half the time. I know I am not supposed to compare myself to anyone else, but this has been difficult. I also have a big problem with negative thinking during runs when I get to about the 2.5-3 mile point and I still have 3 or 4 miles left to run. I start to think that this will never be over, then I feel miserable. I wish I could just enjoy the process of running without thinking about when is it ever going to be over.

I wonder if I was too hasty in committing to a half marathon, or if I can overcome these problems and continue with the training. I want to keep going, but unless I can adjust my thinking, I'm heading toward frustration and failure. That's another thing. I am simply terrified of failing. I've had people ask me how could I possibly fail and the truth is I don't really know the answer to that. I don't even know how I define failure in this endeavor, but it scares me anyway.

I had a really bad experience during my latest 4.5 mile run yesterday. It was much colder than usual and freakishly windy. There was a lot of negative thinking going on, and an overall disappointing feel. I did not even finish the last half mile of the run and I admit there were quite a few tears and a temper tantrum of sorts. That was the moment I realized I am on a downward spiral that I have got to break.

I guess the answer might be in adjusting my expectations. I'm going to have to become okay with the idea of just finishing the 13.1 miles no matter how long it takes. There is part of me that doesn't really believe that is good enough. Part of me will only be happy if I perform faster and better. I've got to shut that part up and try to listen to the part that's telling me to be happy with how far I have come.

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