Week One

Beginning  something new always takes some effort. Once the thrill of running my first Bay To Breakers was over, it was time to get down to real training. Preparing for the half-marathon is going to take a lot of time and effort put into it before I am ready. So before we go forward, I had to go back.

A Girl With Glasses, runner of three half-marathons, provided me with a couple of options for training regimens. At the time I was not a regular runner, yet to run 13.1 miles you’d better be. Of the ones she gave me, I chose this one. Now you may look and notice it is a 12-week program, and the half marathon is about 16 weeks away. Well later on in the Fall I will be headed back to school, so I wanted to make the most of my SummerTime training while I had time (especially since the search for a morning job has been fruitless.)

The first day, a Monday, called for stretching and strength training. I did my normal routine for Mondays and felt ready to begin the running part the next day. Tuesday called for a 3-mile run. This is where I had to backtrack. In the weeks leading up to the Bay to Breakers, 3 mile runs had become the norm, not easy-peasy, but regular, so I had to prepare myself mentally for these 3 miles to be the start of a long journey.

I decided to run outside around the neighborhood. What I like to do is just turn on my Nike SportBand which connect with my ultra comfortable pair of  Nike LunarGlide+ 3, and run until I hit my target goal. Deciding to turn left or right when I get the end of the street make running a little more exciting than running on a preset course or on the DREADmill at the gym.

Let me tell you, that first run, sucked. Here I thought that it was in the bag. Hell I just ran almost 8 a week ago, this would be no problem. Quite the contrary. Midway through the run I got tired, I got bored, and I just wanted to quit. As cliché as it sounds, I had to dig deep until I approached mile 2. I told myself that quitting before even starting would be unacceptable. I made my way back home and finished that 3rd mile.

The next couple of runs weren’t so difficult. Although on Wednesday, after doing the scheduled run and then some core workouts (including planks, lunges and squats, and crunches/situps with a medicine ball) me and the Lady went to walk the Golden Gate Bridge. The walk is about 3 miles round trip, and for our tired legs, that was good enough.

Happy 75th!

The fog and wind make for quite a cold adventure.

You can’t tell, but she’s frozen.

After more walking through SF we did what else? EAT! She found us a delicious restaurant somewhat nearby that not only had phenomenal tacos, but also my favorite beer, Negra Modelo on tap, and a giant painting of a bottle of Tapatio on the wall! Awesome.

Saturday was perhaps the toughest run of the week. The schedule called for another 3 mile run. The distance wasn’t the issue, it was the fact the night before was my best friend’s birthday. We went to a local bar that serves 36 oz. beers. Upon reading the last two paragraphs I’m sure you’ve noticed, I love beer. Lately I haven’t really been drinking. What was once a fun thing to do has since fizzled (I’m getting old it seems) so when I do have a sip it’s light and on occasion. Best friend’s birthdays usually end late, as this one did so waking up with motivation the next day was difficult. I powered through, handled my 3 miles, this time running at the gym.

Sunday’s run was 5 miles. My legs were tired, my brain was tired, but I was determined to finish it. Here is the most important thing I learned during Week One: just do your best. After about 2.75 miles I wanted to quit, and I sort of did. I stopped and started walking. Albeit at a quicker pace than I do when I’m grocery shopping, but I walked. I walked for a minute before I began running again. I did this 3 times. It’s important that you don’t feel bad that you stopped, it’s not easy to run longer distances. I realized that more than physical, the mental training that this is going to take will be hard.

When I approached mile 4 I got reinvigorated. I wanted to finish strong and I did just that. I ran that last mile faster than the others (again I don’t check my time during the run, but the SportBand provides you split times afterwards) and felt great as I crossed my invisible finish line.

Week One had come to a successful close. I am excited to continue on with Week Two and look forward to getting ready all Summer long.

I think it’s time to stretch!

Thanks for reading, handle it and naturally,

Be Better.

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