First, brief apologies for being late this week. Lauren is moving, and I've been in Santa Fe for a little Bead Fest break. We have a loose plan to blog each Wednesday, but we also know we have to stay flexible, in our blogging, as well as in our half marathon training plans.
My big goal for the race is to finish it on my own two feet. That's all I want. Some days it feels like even that is asking an awful lot from someone like me, who has never even considered doing something like this before. Other days it feels perfectly reasonable and do-able. I'm learning as I go, and each time I head out there, I get a little bit better.
I'm reading about ChiRunning, and doing my best to learn this form of "mid-foot strike" running, as opposed to the standard "heel strike" style. It makes an enormous difference in the amount of stress I put on my body, particularly my knees, and it also makes me feel lighter and faster. Rick has started coming out with me for a lap or two some days, and he has trouble keeping up with me when I'm walking. That makes me feel like I'm making progress. I have some very zippy moments. Still, it's a strange way of moving, and it takes practice and attention every step of the way. If anyone out there happens to have the ChiRunning DVD, or the ChiRunning Beginner Half Marathon Training Program with DVD, I'd love to borrow them.
One thing to clarify, just so you don't think I'm too amazing... When I say "run," I mean walk/run. I'm doing timed intervals, with a good long walking warm up and cool down. This week the "running" portion of the session is 15 seconds of running to 45 seconds of walking, for as long as I can stand it. Next week it will be 16/44, and so on, until I'm running and walking about equal times. That's how I plan to run the race, and it's how I plan to finish it. Slow and steady. I'm a beginner, and it will serve me well to remember that.
I try to get out there 6 mornings a week, and vary the distance, increasing my milage a little bit each week. I'm my own coach, trainer, team, and cheerleader, and I'm the only one who can know how much I can do without hurting myself. Last Friday I went 4 "laps" around my block, which is 6 miles. Today I'll go for 5 laps/7.5 miles. If you'd told me two months ago that I'd be able to do this I would have laughed in your face. But here I am, doing it, and best of all, enjoying it.