In 116 days, I am apparently going to run 21.1 kilometres (13.1 miles) – a half marathon that will take me through downtown Vancouver, False Creek, Kitsilano, English Bay, Stanley Park and finish in Coal Harbour. I say apparently because the longest distance I have ever run before is about 6.5 kilometres.
So, yea… this is going to hurt.
While I’ve spent much of the last few weeks feeling apprehensive about the number 21.1, yesterday I reviewed my training schedule and decided to take it just one week at a time. Every Sunday, I am going to review my goals for the week and schedule both workouts and rest days in my calendar. And, instead of aiming for specific distances for each run, I think I’m going to start by working on increasing the amount of time I can run for.
Since being back in BC, I’ve gone on a few runs – mostly outdoors – and have been surprised by how not out of shape I am. After an extremely lazy winter in Toronto, I was sure that running even a few blocks would have me out of breath. Instead, my first run in Vancouver had me pushing myself up hills, steadying myself down them, and keeping at such a pace that I never once ran out of breath. My pace was slow but I ran 6K and felt great before, during, and after it.
I know I want to increase my distances (and I obviously will) but, when I think about what makes me nervous to run a half marathon, it’s not actually the number 21.1; it’s the concern that I’ll never physically be able to push myself past running for 30-40 minutes straight. So, to start, I’m going to pencil in timed runs. I’ll track them with RunKeeper, to see how far I go, but I want to get used to running for 30 minutes, 35 minutes, 40 minutes, and so on.
Now, as for running gear (and a budget for it), the few outdoor runs I have gone on helped me realize that I’m not done shopping for everything I need. I have enough capris, tops and socks, and relatively new running shoes, but there are still a few things I need to pickup, including:
- a lightweight jacket (water resistant and windproof)
- a running cap (to keep the rain out of my eyes)
- an armband or FlipBelt for my iPhone and keys
If I shop around, I should be able to get all of that for ~$100. After that, I think I’ll be set.
With 16 weeks of training ahead of me, I will do my best not to turn this blog into a training log… but I can’t promise I won’t mention it here and there! If my debt repayment journey has taught me anything, it’s that setting goals, outlining action steps, and keeping track of your progress is the best way to tackle any challenge. At this point, I don’t care what my final time is… I just want to get myself across that finish line.
Let the half marathon training begin!
Have you ever run a half or full marathon? Got any tips for a newbie?