Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Salt Lake City Half Marathon Training...

Okay, so many months ago I registered for the SLC half marathon. And while I dream of running the race, finishing and still being able to walk, I have not really been training for it and it is down to the wire. Like everything else I do I have procrastinated my training and pretty much ignored the voice in my head counting down the days until I die...April 19th. In an attempt to justify to myself why I should not run the race I emailed my friend Julia, whom I have never met, but who has inspired me because she is a MACHINE. It has almost been a year since I started reading her blog and dreaming about running a race.

The following is my email to her Sunday night...


Well, my dear mentor, my training is practically non-existent. I have a mile high pile of excuses, but the truth is I just haven't had the discipline to get to the gym and run. The roads are finally clear so I am going to start running here. I have to be truthful, I might not make the half marathon, but I will at least do a 10k if I am not ready. I'm such a loser for putting off my training. I have been trying to get into the gym and at least workout, but it hasn't always been running and I have slacked off big time. So, here I am recommitting myself to get out and run, to not cripple myself because of my fear of failure, and to just take it a day at a time with the goal at the end being my health.I love you and and hope you have a great week.


Here is her reply:


I am so glad you emailed - and am so glad you used the word "poop"! That is my favorite word and Jona has been known to use it as well. That is hilarious.Training is never poop. The lack of training is never poop. You are a busy mom, who's supporting a busy husband, who lives in a very cold state where it's incredibly difficult to get out in the first place. I look up to you so much for wanting to run and getting out there on any sort of level. While I pretend my life is busy and stressful, it is nothing compared to having the responsibility of raising two beautiful children. So cheers to you.So I have a few thoughts, well and a few sub-thoughts of those thoughts. :) So take them purely as suggestions and let me know what you think.

  • You've already signed up for the dang thing. If you have to walk every single last second of it, it's still a major accomplishment. There aren't too many people who will voluntarily get out of bed on a Saturday morning and walk 13.1 miles, let alone run it.

  • Try a walk/run plan ... any ratio you want for your training and even race day. Run 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Run 9 minutes, walk 1 minutes. Walk 1, run 1. Whatever feels comfortable. I know a lot of people who use this and it works wonders for them. Have you tried it before?

  • I've put together a calendar for you - just a suggestion of a calendar! I based it on the fact that you could run 2-3 miles comfortably right now. With my training this time, I know I've really benefited from having some sort of "to do" everyday, whether that's an off day or a tempo run. It does have you increasing your weekly long run by two miles every weekend (4 this weekend to 10 miles by the April 5) with a two week taper period.

  • I love what you said ... the goal is your health. You have amazing perspective. No need to feel stressed about it. No guilt, no anything. Every minute running or every second in the gym goes towards feeling good. I could learn a lot from that. :)It will make it hard to shoot for the 13.1 if you feel by any means that you have an "out". Does that make sense? I constantly battle with this. If I haven't totally committed to something, I will think up every single excuse in the book to not do it. For me, once I've paid that registration fee, I am in. No more outs. For you, I feel like there might be a point where you have to decide whether you are really in or out of the half marathon (not now, perhaps in a week or two when you have to do longer runs - but BEFORE the really long runs). Because once those long runs come and you haven't committed to yourself, there really won't be anything pushing you out that door on your 10 mile run, you know?

I am really excited for you either way. A great little trip to Utah to see friends and be at a really cool event. I'd love to do some sort of virtual training where we can check in on each other's runs for the week/day, whatever and see how we are doing. I love the support, even from far away!!Hope that isn't too much. Have a good night!


And like a great mentor and example, she left me no wiggle room to get out of my commitment. She wrote me very specific encouragement and suggestions and even went as far as to put together a...

Procrastinators Training Schedule For the Out Of Shape Runner that didn't train for her half Marathon with the 12 week program so now you have to use the 5 week program.

Here it is. Click to open it if you want to Run this thing with me. I am recommitting myself to running it. Anybody in?

And to Julia. Thank you! I love you! And I appreciate you not cutting me any slack. I think I'll start calling you Julian!


amypete said...

Wow! What a great friend. I'm with her on the paying the registration fee being the commitment. Any day I don't want to run I think of the money I've already committed, and how bad I'll feel if I give up. Good luck with your 5 week program! Looks like you'll be busy. My first half is on April 12th. Yeah!

Anonymous said...

I lurk here from time to time and this post is what I needed right now, today! I am in the same position and think I can crank out your 5 week plan with you. Seeing it planned out like that- wow. Thank you to Julia!

I have to do it- I have the same crippling fear of failure...I hadn't even registered yet but I am right now. Spent money motivates me.

M&M said...

Hi Erin,

We are glad you are back! And no worries, life happens. We are all here to support you and cheer you on to success!! Keep posting your progress. Great advice from Julia. I hope she will come visit us over here.

Hannah-I have lurked your blog, too, so welcome! Hope to meet up with you in SLC, and good luck!

JP said...

ERIN!!! I think you and I are the only ones doing the half. I was so late in the game with my training...we'll push eachother to the very last mile if we have to.

I am so jazzed by your post (and the e-mail from your friend Julia) and OH MY WORD you can do this!!!

See you in SLC!! (I've already got my plane ticket...if that's not motivation, I don't know WHAT is!!)

Roxanne said...

I will be running the half and I plan on run/walking. If you want to run with us (me and my sisters)we would be happy to have you.
I love the advice your friend gave you she was right on. You can do it!

JP said...

Oh...I stand (sit) corrected. I didn't know how many of us are running the half.

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious, I thought I was the only clown who signed up for a 1/2 marathon and started training 4 weeks before the event. Cheers to us, (but let it never happen again!) Tawni, a fellow mom/runner.