I am convinced that half marathons cause amnesia.
Hear me out.
Every time sign-ups come around for a particularly alluring race, I find myself overcome with excitement over the prospect of being part of the pack. I wait patiently till registration opens, and in a flurry of activity, I hold my breath, enter all of my vital information, and click submit. It’s a rush. A runner’s high without the running.
Because something in the back of my mind always tells me that I need to get into that race. Why? Well, (1) all of my friends are doing it, so it seems like I should do it too and (2) I have foggy memories of race day being fun last year. At least I think it was fun, right?
Except for those miles when it torrentially down-poured. Or that long stretch toward Coney Island with zero crowd support. Or that pain in my knee that always sneaks up on me when the mileage gets too high. Or those weeks and weeks of early morning training runs.
How is it that, each year when race season arrives, I conveniently forget all the bad parts about running and only focus on the good?
Probably because the good far outweighs the bad. Running is, after all, pretty awesome. But do you see what I mean? Good or bad, running definitely causes amnesia.
I used to call myself a “runner.” I ran a few races a year, and half marathon training was as much a part of my schedule as doing laundry. After hurting my knee and then moving to New York, my running has fallen a bit to the wayside. And to be honest, I haven’t consistently run in months.
But I do like running – even if I need to remind myself every once and awhile. It’s an old and trusted friend, and I enjoy the challenge of training toward a goal. I may grumble about it, but I genuinely do like those early morning Saturday long runs. And the camaraderie of spending hours training with friends. And the natural excuse to brunch my brains out whenever I please.
So I guess now would be a good time to acknowledge that I signed up for the 2016 Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 21.
I ran this race last year and was disappointed in my time. I wanted to consistently stick to a goal pace and my legs just weren’t able to deliver on race day. That’s okay – but this year I want to try again.
So here is the training plan I’m going to follow in 2016. I modeled it off of the one Amanda has on her blog (thanks Amanda!) and infused it with some of my old stand-by techniques. Here is the plan I used last year – it’s just slightly different.
This year I want to focus on three things:
- Consistently doing strength workouts to keep my muscles healthy and strong (and my grouchy knee in check)
- Actually doing the speed and interval workouts (no excuses)
- Enjoying the experience, on good run days and bad
I’ll check in from time to time with updates. If you have any specific questions, or tips to share, please leave a comment below.
Also give a shout if you’re running this race too – I’d love to hear from you!