hi! my name is Ashley and I've survived TWO MONTHS of half marathon training.
first, can I say that I REALLY appreciate all of the support I got after writing my month one update? because all I have to say is THANK YOU. I feel incredibly lucky that I have such amazing blog readers/friends/family that support me in everything I do. you are the best and I wouldn't enjoy this “hobby” half as much as I do if it weren't for you. so THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.
you probably don't remember, but last month, week 4 was a doozy for me. I got sick, missed a run, and was just not on my game…
that continued into week 5. I didn't run that week until Saturday… it was awful. I was SO upset about it. I went on a few walks that week and tried to cut my losses but I let guilt eat away at me… such is life. That sunday I ran 7 miles… in CENTRAL PARK (kill me) and felt a little better about my situation. hello, crazy hills that made me want to cry! Harlem hill is NO JOKE PEOPLE. it doesn't feel good. but i was really proud because i didn't stop once (EEK!) & it gave me a little confidence boost and I moved on.
week 6 was a relatively good week! although I was in SERIOUS pain for the first few days after my sunday battling central park hills. my short weekday runs were nice and I had some fun with it. Saturday… I went out to dinner with my dad and had one to many margaritas… which meant I refused to run 8 miles on sunday…. and was SO guilty about it.
I contemplated just skipping the 8 miles and seeing what I could do if I attempted 9 on week 7's sunday. Ultimately, I decided it was better to stay the course and not try to up my mileage too much, so I tacked 8 miles on Monday (without stopping!!). (disclaimer – this long run SHOULD have been in central park, but I opted to run along the east river because it was closer to home and on a Monday after work I just wasn't into central park.
the rest of the week went okay… until I tried 9 miles in central park. it was just bad. i think this was daylight savings day(?) so I was probably already a little out of it. I had an NYCFC game semi-early in the day (had to be at yankee stadium at 3) so i felt rushed. I made it out to the park and i think I got a few good miles in and then I had to I stop a few times to walk and was incredibly discouraged. I also REALLY needed water and was really upset when central park didn't have any any working fountains. i think that's when I just gave up. nevertheless, when I actually arrived at home and had 9 miles flashing on my watch I almost cried and forgot about my discouraged feelings.
which brings us to week 8. oh week 8. you were the worst. SO. I was fine on my first run. I felt really good that I was working in the Bronx and still got out to do my run on Tuesday (thanks to daylight savings time). Wednesday… I got home and just DIDNT want to do it (which is actually a rare occurrence for me. I normally don't dread my runs.) I was tired when I got home, it was supposed to rain/thunder/lightning, and my mom wanted to talk to me on the phone so.. I said I'd push it off to Thursday.
except Thursday was St. Patricks day… and I just honestly didn't want to. I chalked it up to a stressful week (I gave a presentation on Thursday) and a bad food day (I think I really just ate pizza and donuts) and there was also some questionable weather again (it rained on my way home). ALL of these things are excuses and I really wish I had sucked it up and done it, but I didn't. Saturday I laced up and made it out for 4 miles like a good girl. I wasn't sore, I felt fine everything went well.
Then there was sunday. the sunday that broke me. I knew it was going to be bad. I procrastinated it as long as I could. literally whined to Frankie that I JUST DIDNT WANT TO because I KNEW IT WOULD BE BAD. he was super nice and was like “no it won't, you'll do great.” I remember walking out the door at 11 feeling like a child dragging her feet. I really had no interest in 10 miles. especially when I knew I wasn't able to do 9 miles fully through the previous week without stopping. I resigned to the fact that central park was NOT happening. I took off down my usual path to randalls island… AND HAD TO STOP NOT EVEN A MILE IN. that's when I realized it would be the worst run I'd had during training. for the next two miles of stop/go I told myself to just do four. go to the end of bobby wagner and turn around and go home. for a bit there I think I convinced myself that was the plan. but by the time I'd turned around and hit mile 3 I'd already decided to stick it out no matter what. I headed over the bridge to randalls island and was miserable. the miles ticked away, slowly – but surely. and I accepted the run for what it was: a bad run.
I'd read about them and even thought I'd had them before when I didn't perform as well as I wanted, but no. those weren't bad runs. this was the WORST run. I doubted myself every second of the way (and if we're being honest, i stopped at points just to stop – not because i NEEDED to). I stuck it out, but not for lack of trying to convince myself to give up. I was so negative the entire time. I got home and was angry. angry at myself. angry at the cold (the temps dropped down to the 30's) angry at the aggressive wind (pretty sure I had wind burn) angry at my speed (11:27/mile, which is significantly slower than I'd been performing on my other runs – even the 9 mile run where I had to stop was a 9:57/mile pace) angry at my attitude. I think I just didn't know how to handle it and it felt like I'd taken 2938578924 steps backward (instead of what I actually did, aka: run 10 miles).
I was rude and mean to Frankie and got in the shower and just wanted to break things. after I calmed down a little bit I joined Frankie on the couch and literally started to cry. and that's when I realized I was just so disappointed. I almost think I have a long run mental block. it sounds so SCARY and impossible and I just accept that I can't do it, which was the thing I was most proud of breaking away from a month or two ago so it feels like I'm back at square one.
I'm trying really hard not to let the last month bring me down (last night i actually PR'ed on a 4 mile run!). because: SEVENTY MILES. i (ASHLEY) ran SEVENTY. FREAKING. MILES. in month 2. thats a thing. apparently. should it be higher? yes. but i practically left out an entire week of training this month due to sickness/laziness.
I'm also trying to prepare more. I bought a whole bunch of energy gels (I think that had a lot to do with my giving up on the 9 mile run, I was burnt out) so I'm going to try those out during the next couple weeks of training. I'm also trying to figure out the best way to fuel for a run, I don't think I've been doing a good job of that and it's hurting my long runs (p.s. thank you to everyone who reached out and gave me ideas! I'm definitely going to try them all and report back!). I bought a hand-held water bottle from amazon too, so hopefully having some water will help a bit – I just have to remember to train holding it so I get used to it.
I REALLY wish I had done more cross-training. I said I wanted to start last month and honestly just let it go. I wasn't holding myself accountable and running four times a week already cuts into a lot of my time (which I admit is an excuse but it's valid I think). when I'm finished with the half marathon I'm planning on focusing on toning up & strengthening my core. I think working on that will help in the long term and I'm finding myself wishing that I'd started a while ago.
alright dudes, that's pretty much everything i've got for you! hopefully next month it'll be a happier picture! and ya know, there's THE RACE which is only a month away… whatttt? so i can't wait to share more. let me know if you liked this post and i'll try to update you more on things like this. OH OH also, i'm putting together a beginners running plan for my mom (based on my own experience of trial and error) is that something you guys would be interested in having? let me know!
thanks for everything xoxo & in the meantime, catch me running around on my fitness instagram (yes i have three… sigh. but at least i don't bug everyone with my running selfies 24/7!)