I thought this was just my neurotic brain talking, but I've gotten at least 3 emails from people who were thinking about pulling out of races because they didn't think they "looked" the part. In the same cases, they were also worried about not being able to run the entire distance. That's phooey, I say!
I wanted to share a response I sent to someone this week who was having the same anxieties with regards to her upcoming half-marathon. (Reminder: I'm not a doctor, nurse, trainer, medical professional, etc. I'm just a blogger who has an opinion.)
I started off not being able to run at all. I could jog about .1 of a mile before stopping and walking. I had to adjust my attitude that it wasn't about running the whole thing, it was simply about finishing. I dreamed of finishing in less than 4 hours, which for me seemed ridiculously fast (although double the time of most of the "average" participants). I felt strong enough with stamina and muscles to do it, but the weight on my ankles and feet really put a hurting on me.For chuckles, let's look at a photo of me during my half-marathon:
Sometimes I worry what people will think if I say "I walked a half marathon" - like it's any less significant. But it's not. I ended up "wogging" (walk-jogging) it, but really, who needs me to tell them I wogged? I did it, and that's the big freaking deal.
- make sure your shoes are properly fitted
- stretch really well after each training - calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, shins
- drink lots and lots of water all day, every day. I ended up getting a waist pack to carry my water on the long training days and it worked well
- lean on your friend - that's awesome she's doing it with you
- stop thinking about the time, and instead focus on the awesome distance you'll cover. Do you know how FAR 13.1 miles is? I had no idea until I drove around town all day and realized I had just gone about 13 miles. Ridiculous.
- If you're tired or worn out on a training day, just rest
|Sometimes, you have to keep going, even if it takes the cops chasing after you! (Just kidding - he was really, really nice and patient about my pace as I brought up the rear)|