half-marathon training: a major update

my legs are basically not functioning right now, but hey, that's cool

my legs are basically not functioning right now, but hey, that’s cool

minor complaint: runkeeper CONSTANTLY shaves a few seconds off my times or a few hundredths of a mile off my distance when i import from garmin. if there is a brilliant fix to this (because the above is after i edited the activity in runkeeper TWICE, and it’s still wrong), let me know.

okay. onto my update. after talking it over with my dad (who, by the way, is training to run a marathon!! after major neck surgery several years ago, this is a HUGE accomplishment), and thinking through my goals for my half-marathon, i have decided to un-register for the navy/air force half marathon and push my race date to one in mid-october. there are two big reasons for this decision.

reason one: comfort and safety and not passing out

as i have mentioned before, i have fainted (ish) after a race before. and one of my runs last week was a near-vomit experience. i get crazy flushed (to the point that a neurosurgeon asked if i was having a stroke after a race…so…i look great post-exercise, is what i’m saying), and while i may feel alright, my body sometimes takes a bit of time to realize it hates me and the heat. and in DC/VA in mid-september? honey. it won’t be cool yet. it will probably be pretty toasty. i want to feel safe running this race – and i won’t feel safe (or have fun) if i’m worrying about my health the entire run. finding a race even a month later ups the odds that i will be running in cooler weather, and that my mind can focus on how awesome it is to run a half-marathon.

reason two: ability to run the majority

as i increase my mileage, i’m realizing that while being the fastest isn’t a priority right now, running for the majority of each run is. my run this morning saw me run the first 2.5 straight, walk briefly, then get all inspired by the sight of the capitol building and run a bit more. i did intervals for the last full mile, and if we’re being real, mile 3-4 was a bit more walking because there were hills and i hate them. but i ran over half of my run, and i’m learning that the ability to do that is really important to my mental well-being. right now, i’m not so sure i will be comfortable running the majority of 13.1 miles. i want to have a bit more time to get those crucial long runs in so that i have the mileage and experience necessary for my race. it’s a mental game, i suppose – if i know i’ve done it before, i’ll be much more able to do it again.

so. i don’t love “quitting”, but i know i’m not really quitting – i’m still going to run a half-marathon, i’m just not running the one i originally signed up for. also, as it turns out, i signed up for one that would be at week 22, not week 24 (the program is 24 weeks), so by pushing my race date back a month, i’m really only off by two weeks.

fellow runners: have you ever had to make a big training or race change? why?