How Not to Train for a Half-Marathon

Today is the first of November. The holiday season is officially upon us.  I know this because Target says it is.  I’m suffering from a severe sugar hangover from yesterday’s spoils.  Report Cards have been completed and Parent Conferences are scheduled.  And I have exactly one week until the Disney Wine and Dine Half-Marathon.

Vic, Brooke, Meri, and I will be converging in The Sunshine State to participate in race shenanigans and general tomfoolery.  I can’t wait to see my chicks!  And to enjoy Disney with my favorite people.  And the thought of running 13.1 freaking miles while I’m there is making me nauseated.  Why?  Oh, because I’ve pretty much blown off training.

This is frighteningly typical.  I am the worst procrastinator.  It’s what I do best.  And I usually come through in the bitter end, I do my best work under pressure.  The problem is, with running, this is a terrible strategy.  I am an expert at not training.  So here they are, my dirty little secrets.  The Do Not’s.  As a bad example, I feel it’s my duty to share my horribly ineffective habits.

#1 – Don’t Stop Running the Month Before

Yeah, it’s true.  I haven’t ran actual mileage since Ragnar last month.  I’ve continued my cross-training and various activities, like hiking and climbing, but I just haven’t hit the pavement.  I know I’m going to suffer for it.  My knees are going give out at about mile 10.  My back will start to ache from the hours of impact.  I know this because I do this to myself each and every time.  I can only hope my muscle memory kicks in and the dozens of squats pay off.

#2 – Don’t Feast on Graham Crackers and Milk Every Night 

My diet’s pretty much gone straight to hell.  I’m a stress eater.  And a bored eater.  And a celebratory eater.  And I’m not eating the things I should be.  As a result, I feel sluggish and swollen and just blah.  My mood is suffering, my energy levels have plummeted, and my digestive system is wrecked.  And it’s lame because I know how much better I feel when I fuel properly.

#3 – Don’t Try New Shoes, Especially if You Have Weird Feet

I’m compulsive when it comes to running shoes.  I’m always searching for the perfect pair.  My flat feet and overpronation make it difficult to find shoes that feel good.  So when I hear someone rave about a shoe, I simply must try it.  I will probably wear my trusty Saucony, but I’ve been walking and doing R.I.P.P.E.D. in the new Nike Free.  Whenever I switch it up, it takes a good 5-10 minutes of soul wrenching foot pain to adjust.

#4 – Don’t Stay Up Watching Netflix All Night

Yeah, good old insomnia is making a come back.  This is probably linked to my bad eating and sluggish energy levels.  I’ve been living on coffee the last couple weeks and I’ve watched a dozen independent documentaries on juicing and/or vegetarianism.  Not that I’m actually taking their advice or learning anything.  Except that I have a sick fascination with docudrama.  Getting proper sleep is going to be especially important for the Florida race since I’ll be dealing with a time change.  I’m gonna need a bed time this week.

#5 – Don’t Wear Short Shorts

This is mainly for those of you who, like myself, are boycotting the ridiculous thigh gap. Most of my races are ran in costume and forsaking comfort for costume awesomeness, while this may be super cute, is not always super wise. Don’t misunderstand, I’m a fan of super cute, but there’s nothing that says you can’t look super cute in capris.   Every time I race, I make a poor clothing choice and I spend the first three miles trying to figure out how to fix it.

You’d think I’d learn from my mistakes, but I swear there’s an inverse relationship between me having to do something and my desire to actually do it.  I still have a week to get somewhat on track.  And there’s no minute like the last minute, I always say.  Unless it’s the last minute of my half-marathons.  Then it’s the longest minute in the world.

15 thoughts on “How Not to Train for a Half-Marathon

  1. Are you my long lost twin? I’ve made all of these mistakes too! Earlier this year, I tried new shoes (even though Brooks Adrenalines had been working for me for TEN years) and ended up injured before my goal half. Couldn’t train or even run much, and well the half wasn’t pretty BUT it wasn’t horrible either. I finished 13 minutes slower than my goal and I was really, really feeling it in the last few miles, but I did it. I have a feeling you’ll have a similar experience at Wine and Dine!

  2. Hysterical! Sounds like me half the time. I have such good intentions, but then something gets in the way (like Halloween candy. or Thanksgiving. or Life. or Tuesday. or Myself.) And, I like to procrastinate. And, I like to sign up for things all excitedly…but then soon get bogged down by the reality of what I REALLY signed up to do! I remember telling Vic at the Jog n Hog that I had signed up to run my first ever half…but I wasn’t “really” going to train (the training seemed more overwhelming than the actual race). ha! Thank goodness I trained a little! Good luck at the Wine and Dine. You guys will be awesome!

  3. Haha this sounds like me! I’m horrible at training. I had a panic attack 2 weeks ago when I realized I hadn’t really trained much for my 10k. 2 weeks later, I’m doing another 10k this weekend that I once again haven’t trained for. I’m the worst at training! Good luck though, I’m sure you’ll do awesome!

  4. Cam I absolutely love all of your posts!!!! How is it that you live in CA as well and we haven’t met yet……other than the 4-5 hour distance?? Hopefully we can meet in 2014 as I have a CA Ragnar on my list for sure. Related to your post, I’m very guilty of #1 on the list. Good luck next week, you’ll be awesome!!!

      • Coffee, non-running meet up….that sounds good 🙂 I’m in Fresno, I wish I got down to SOCAL more but with my bf in the Bay Area I go north when I’m free. I will be in Anaheim for Tink weekend.

  5. Pingback: Chick Chat: Wine and Dine half recap (no really!) | Scoot A Doot

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