37 Weeks to Half Marathon
My goal is to run the Valley Harvest Half Marathon, on Sunday, October 11th in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. 21.1km.
My first successful benchmark run – 5km – was last Sunday – January, 26th:
This was the momentum I needed to start pushing myself. I decided 5km would be my minimum run each morning, and that this week I would run a total of 30km.
My running schedule is Monday – Friday – in the early mornings before work. I take the weekends off – Saturday is my non-exercise day. Sunday, for the month of February – is dedicated to learning to snowboard at Martock ski hill.
Winter, Early Morning Runs in the Dark
I’ve recently transitioned from an elliptical machine to running outside. I had no choice but to start running outside because our well-used elliptical finally gave out, a wheel snapped off. This was a blessing in disguise! I’m now running laps along a flat stretch of Highway 14, where at one end of this flat stretch is the road entrance to my cabin in the woods. Here, it has a slight incline, the beginning of a small hill. Perfect. There is only one street light along this flat stretch of highway – at the entrance of the road to my cabin.
Some mornings I’m a bit scared – all alone in the darkness. There are two homes along the way, with lights on at this time of the morning. They are little spots of safety and relief. Sometimes I think about ghosts. Ghost stories from my youth where strange figures follow someone as they walk in the darkness. I have to get those thoughts out of my head immediately! I sometimes think about bears. But, I doubt one would come near me. They are hibernating anyway, and are more scared of me, so the saying goes!
Well… I don’t know about that! LOL!!!
I sometimes talk out-loud to myself when I get scared, thinking this will somehow scare away ghosts and bears!
The real danger is the traffic on this narrow, dark highway. Especially when cars pass each other alongside me. When this happens, when any car approaches, I run so close to the ditch, I fear I’m going to fall in!
The scariest vehicles are the 18 wheeler logging trucks. I can hear them coming…
…..and my fear of stumbling upon roadkill….gawd…I hope this doesn’t happen. Makes me SO sad any time I see a dead animal on the side of the road.
Yet, there is a peaceful, surreal silence too… When all I hear is the crunch of gravel beneath my feet and perhaps a thawed babbling brook. When the night sky is so bright with shiny stars and I see one as it quickly shoots across the heavens. When I inhale the crisp, fresh air deeply into my lungs, sometimes there is an icy sharpness to it…
And… it is here on this flat stretch of dark highway, that I face me, myself and I. I push myself a little bit further…just a little bit faster….
Running Gear For The Dark!
I started out with a small flashlight and not one bit of reflective gear! I borrowed a larger flashlight and a reflective safety vest from work. I then upgraded from a flashlight to a borrowed head light from a fellow runner! Next, I bought reflective straps that I put on my ankles. This weekend I am shopping for a reflective vest and my own head light!
Running in January offers little warmth! However, there is the challenge of pushing through and running in the cold! I really like it!!
I Did It!!!
Including my Sunday run at the indoor track at Acadia University, I ran 5km each morning – Monday to Friday, and added a little bit of distance each day! I totaled 30km this week!!
Stretching: Not my most favorite activity in the world, and to be honest I find yoga boring. I do however, have to start incorporating stretches after my morning runs. 5-10 minutes is a good starting place. I should also stretch a minimum of twice a week. Gotta wrap my head around this…
Eating to Fuel My Body: I’ve just started using the app MyFitnessPal. This app tells me how many calories I need to eat each day to attain a weight I aspire to. It tracks how many calories I intake per day, when I input all food & drink items I consume. It has a barcode scanner and a large data base of food & drink items!! It also syncs with my Fitbit – tracking my daily steps. It subtracts the amount of calories burned from steps taken. It also subtracts the calories burned when cardio, strength and workout exercise is manually entered. The more I exercise, the more I get to eat! What is interesting, is now that I’m tracking EVERYTHING I eat and drink, I notice the amount of unhealthy foods and healthy foods I eat. Included in this, is how many calories are in an 8oz glass of wine! Wine isn’t cheap in the calories department!!! I need to properly fuel my body with healthy, whole foods rather than junk food to run 21.1kms!!!
Half Marathon Training Plan: Valley Harvest Marathon has a free half marathon training plan. I’m still wrapping my head around it. Reading it. Thinking about it. The daily training plan is scheduled 4 months before the race that includes a weekend long run. I’m realizing that I need to start thinking about a weekend long run. But, I’ve some time to familiarize myself with the training plan. To set weekly, personal goals to be ready for June and successfully start the plan.
Mountain View Runners – MVR: My running support group, MVR is AMAZING!!! This week, group members have introduced me to MyFitnessPal, chatted and motivated me about stretching, helped about where to buy new running sneakers, and as always kept me motivated with so many posts of runs accomplished!! ❤ So grateful for you!!
Bubby: This is my husband, Michael!! He’s so proud of me as I stick to my running routine and strive to be healthier and happier each day!! ❤
My Parents: They too are so supportive of my goal to run 21.1km in October!! ❤
Total Kilometers: 30.93km
Next Week’s Goal
I want to reach 6km per day!