January 2011: I signed up for a half marathon. I have 10 months to train, I got this. October 2011: so much for training to run this half marathon. I’ll just wing it.
Every half marathon, mud run, 7k & 10k since 2011: I’ll just wing it.
Do you get the idea yet?! I start out with the intentions of sticking with one of those many great half marathon training schedules. You know, the type where you run or cross train 3-5 days a week with your long run on Saturday, because everyone has Saturday off of work… except me. I have tried to run with a group or find a running partner for accountability… but it’s hard to find a running partner that can get their long run done on a weekday. I have tried waking up early to get my run done before work but I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON! I repeat… I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON! I can’t get to the gym today, I need to get home to my kids. I can’t push the stroller on my run today, it’s too windy!
Excuses! While some of these things I mentioned are legit challenges they aren’t legit reasons to not accomplish what I set out to achieve.
I have never been one to encourage anyone to run in a race they haven’t properly trained for. I know this can lead to injury, which could prevent a person from finishing or even being able to run or be active in the future. However, Just about every “race” i have signed up for in the last 6 years I ultimately end up taking the Just Wing It approach rather than preparing myself for the race.
Rewind to October 2011, Mankato half marathon. This was my first half marathon, the longest distance I had ever run. I didn’t train properly but since my sister was flying up from Texas and We had spent the money on entry fees, my stubborn side prevailed and I toed the line on race day. In the 10 months I had to prepare for this race I maybe ran a total of 20 miles with my longest “training run” being 4 miles. How am I going to run 13.1 miles? I guess I’ll just wing it. I couldn’t let my sister down and unless they had to drag me off that course I wasn’t going to register a DNF (did not finish)! I ran for 8 miles, only taking short walk breaks at the water stops before my sister needed to take an extra walk break. We were in this together so her walk break meant I walked too. That’s when my muscles decided to remind me that I hadn’t ever run 8 miles and they weren’t happy that I decided to suddenly push them that far. My muscles were even more ticked off when I decided they weren’t done pushing me towards that finish line. My legs felt like bricks as we started to pick up our pace again. The remaining 5 miles consisted of many more walk breaks at my request, we tried to keep them short but each time we started running again it was brick legs all over again. We eventually crossed the finish line, I had done it! I just ran a half marathon on no training! I ran for 8 miles, how is it so hard to do even a 2 mile training run?! Imagine what I could achieve if I would actually train. At this point I realized that running is more of a mental challenge then it is a physical challenge.
I still don’t know what I am truly capable of, as I have continued to take that just wing it approach.