About 6 months ago I confidently committed to running my third half marathon. Easy right? I already knew how to train, I already knew what to expect, and I was running a race that I had run in the past so I was familiar with the course. Well, those three things that I thought was going to make this race a piece of cake means nothing if you don’t train properly.
I had good intentions, I really did. I had a couple of weeks where I ran regularly, and then I would fall off again. I kept up the training with my personal trainer (twice a week), who would try to motivate me to get out there and run so that I wouldn’t feel like dying on race day. There were a few times I listened to him, but for the most part I was in a weird funk and couldn’t get my butt out there.
I actually compare my training procrastination to that of my college paper writing procrastination (which is weird because I like to write, and also like to run so…). I think I probably killed myself over one or two papers in college, starting a month before the due date – got great grades on them, and then something precarious happened. I got confident, and decided to start the next paper 3 weeks before the due date, then two weeks before the due date and so on. Eventually I got to a point where I didn’t start a paper until 3 days before! Worst part, I still got good grades. It’s a weird negative/positive reinforcement thing, and unfortunately I found myself doing this with my half marathon training.
Ironically enough, I don’t have this bad habit at work. Which got me wondering, is that because my work impacts other team members and lines of business? Therefore, I have to be more accountable for the work I’m producing? Do I only procrastinate on things that are personally impacting? I’m sure some psychology major would have a field day with that, but it got me thinking about the race and made me evaluate what happens when you don’t train and prepare yourself for a half marathon. So, I put together 10 things that happen when you don’t train properly for a half marathon:
Your PR (personal record) takes a HUGE hit – I was 13 minutes slower than I was 2 years ago when my training was consistent.
You forget about those special places on your feet that start rubbing at say mile 9? And thus, can’t proactively band-aid them because, well you never trained that far so how would you know where those places are?
You forget how real being “rungry” is – We ordered pizza directly following the race. After I finished 3 slices, I knew immediately that I would be hungry again in an hour. Queue the cheese burgers!
You sleep horribly the night before – I was filled with anxiety I didn’t even know I had purely as a result of lack of preparation.
I seriously risked the chance of an injury – but thankfully only had sore muscles – And I only cried once when I tried to stand up from the toilet.
You have pure adrenaline and determination running through you to help you complete each mile
You haven’t trained your tummy tum to take care of business BEFORE your run, and you’re stuck doing the deed in a disgusting port-a-potty
You realize that your race photos are going to be frightening because even when you train properly you make ridiculous faces while running
You seriously consider cutting the course – I mean, I know that’s cheating which is why I didn’t do it, BUT it’s tempting!!
Not training makes you immediately say you’re never running a half marathon again, but what you’re really saying is, “I want to sign up for another race and do it right the next time around!”
Here’s the bottom line. I wasn’t properly prepared for that race, and I will definitely NEVER let that happen again. I did however, have an amazing experience. I laughed so hard with the friends I ran with (Sophia and Kelly). We had a fun girls weekend in Sonoma, CA that included running 13.1 miles that none of us was really prepared for, drinking a lot of wine (post race of course), ate a lot of food, and just overall enjoyed each other’s company. What better weekend could I have asked for?! Cheers ladies to the next race (wink, wink)