Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

The 12 minute mile is just as far as the 6 minute mile...

So on Monday I randomly decided I should run a half marathon.  Cause, you know, I haven't taken on any ridiculous goals lately.   I wanted to do it in the spring but surgery got in the way.  And it turns out I hate winter and strongly dislike running so the combination of unfit Laur attempting to run in miserable weather was less than successful.  I think my plan lasted about three days.   Mostly this is about the fact that I'm not nearly as fit as I'd like to be, not riding regularly or working the barn ever, and don't have enough money to pay for a personal trainer.  Running I know to be effective, does not require a trainer (although Dana's helping me long distance via FB -- woohoo!), and is *almost* free.  Almost cause, well, she who hates shopping will require new running clothes.  Of course.  Also a bunch of the guys I work run so I can join the conversation ;)   At the time I was thinking also this would contribute to beach body for winter trip, but thinking now a trip this winter may not be happening.  What a waste of a half marathon.  Clearly should wait and do this next fall ;-P

Right, we're going to pretend I still get to go to a beach this winter.  So if I'm going to run a half marathon, I need a race to run.  And since budget is a problem, it can't be anywhere fun like Hawaii.  Okay, well I know the Waterfront Marathon is in the fall in Toronto and is billed as being the second-fastest in Canada -- this being because basically, it's flat.  And to a newbie taking on a ridiculous goal, flat is good.  Sweet.  Challenge: it's in 8 weeks (minus a couple days).   Hmmmm did some Googling and, well, nowhere did I find any sign that nothing-to-half-marathon training was even remotely feasible in 8 weeks.  Not that that necessarily will stop me, but well, I'd like to be able to walk the day after the race.

Okay so pause on that idea.  Except I really liked the idea, mostly because I want to be fit again and if I don't have a ridiculous goal to chase it probably won't happen.  So do a little more googling -- and guess what, there's another race in Hamilton a couple weeks later.   And it's billed as the *fastest* in Canada.  Sweet!  Map suggests about two blocks of uphill right at the start and the rest is downhill or flat.  This seems entirely reasonable.  Note, "the fastest" means nothing to me beyond my brain translating to "the easiest".  I am not doing this remotely for speed.  My entire goal will be finishing before the course closes ;-P   I am reasonable after all.  Stop laughing.

So it's just shy of 11 weeks away.  And I've found lots of 12 week training plans.  I'm willfully ignoring the more reasonable 16 week or even 6 month training plans in acknowledging my limited attention and dedication span.  I found several "beginner" plans that are 12 weeks.   Picked the one I liked best and modified slightly to include some details from second choice plan.  A couple things I was looking for -- most important is that I didn't want one that built all the way to race day.  I want to build and then come down for a week or two before the grand finale.  I also wanted one that included cross training and strength training and at least one or two rest days / week.  This I found, the only down side was it was in miles instead of KM, but google was quick to help me update that.  It also conveniently had a really good option of a skip week, to bring it down to 11 in that in only one instance, two weeks were nearly identical.  I chose to remove the lighter of the two.

So it being about 11:00 on Monday night when I finalized the plan, day 1 was a complete write off.  I crossed it out and labeled it NA.  Plan to start with Tuesday -- rest day.  Awesome.  Conveniently timed as I usually teach late on Tuesdays.  Since that's changing to Mondays the plan might have to change slightly, but for this week it's all good.

Wednesday was a cross-train day, which basically meant I got to go play on my bike ;)   I put in exactly the right time and used it to measure off some routes.  Ummm 10k is *really* far.   I was less thrilled by that.  And that'd be a half half marathon.  Now to be fair, I have done 15k before, and the summer before I started at the bank was running decent distances and times (for me - I'll never be fast) regularly.  However since then, nada.  Lol, just went to find the blog post from the 15k...   Fun times.  This one I'm actually going to try and train for, but I'm not starting remotely near as fit as I was then.

Alright so Wednesday was good.  Check.  Thursday.  Thursday was torrential rain.  And it took me more than two hours to get home.  Thursday, lets be honest, didn't happen.  Thursday, the first actual *running* day, didn't happen.  This is not a good start.

And Friday, today, was supposed to be another cross train day (this schedule doesn't have running two days in a row anywhere) but I really feel that if I'm going to run a half marathon, I should at least attempt running ;-P   So run I did, not any of the routes I'd cycled, but found a better one that goes on trails and is thus more fun.  Hills though.  Ugh evil monstrous hills.  But I figure if I train with hills, my nice flat race should seem easier.  Right? ;-P   Sasha came with me -- turns out she's not particularly fit either.   We stopped for one water break, but other than that was a run/walk combo (which I'm targeting for race day too -- my attempt at realistic goals) that did just over 4.5km in 35 mins (with a 1 min puppy water break).  Slow, but not nearly as slow as I'd feared.   However, now I've thrown off the system and tomorrow when my legs are like lead, I'll have the long run of the week (all of 6km -- week 1 people!).  Should be an interesting experience.

Fun moment of the run, as I'm almost home and Sash and I are barely jogging at this point, run past a fenced yard where the dog on the other side runs at the fence, holding his toy, barking and growling. Dog's male person is in the yard with him telling him to be quiet.  After we pass I hear "Don't growl at other dogs.  Especially when they're with a hot girl like that."   Have to admit it made me smile, although at that moment it could well have been literal -- I was a sweaty mess!  Ugh.

So while I've cancelled my gym membership due to lack of attendance, I am seriously considering getting one at the gym at work so that A -- I can run early am or at lunch as I can go in there to shower after, and B -- gives me an alternative for rainy miserable days.   Would also like to state right now, if it's miserable weather come race day, I'm just not that dedicated.  It's early November, so my odds are iffy at best.


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