Preparing for Toledo Glass City Half Marathon

New Year resolutions are tough but absolutely worth it.  Although this has been on many resolutions but now I have started taking care of my health since second week of January of 2012. It was not like I was not taking care of my health before but now I have a goal to reach. Earlier my goals didn’t materialize; this time I have something which I am shooting towards. Early in January I made a goal to run Toledo glass city half marathon which is going to be held on April 22nd 2012.  I didn’t knew how much was a half marathon but after searching on the internet I found out that it would take good 10 weeks to get trained for it.  Eventually I realized that it was 13 miles run.  So I made a goal and started running.  Every day since then I made a point to wake up early in the morning and go to gym.  Even if I was late I made a point to go to the gym.  No matter whatever happened.

Initially I was not able to even run 5mins @ 3.5 mph.  I felt pathetic at that time.  Before starting the training period I had to get up to speed running for at least 30mins straight.  I started incrementing my daily running time.  I increased to 10mins then 12mins and so on kept increasing my pace at 3.5mph.  On seeing people running next to me, I was little bit ashamed of my speed.  People running next to me were running at 5mph, 6mph and even 7mph.  Some highly ambitious would run at 9mph.  Are you kidding me man?  I read somewhere that running a marathon is all about endurance and not pace (important but we will see that later).  You just need to keep increasing the length of your run every day and you will get there.  I stuck to it and now (3/3/2012) I am able to run for 1hour 27mins for 6miles @ 4.2mph speed.  It was physically, mentally and emotionally challenging for me.  My incremental progress gave me little bits of motivation every day.  Keeping track of your progress is very crucial when you are shooting for the sky.  I learned few things which are very important about tracking your progress.  I will write about it in a different post.  If you don’t track then you will give up easily.  For example, if you didn’t recorded your run last time, this time even if you aren’t tired your body will force you to think that you have ran more than the last time and it’s ok to give up this time.

I tracked my speed, miles, sometimes calories I burnt and time it took to run.  After I finished it I noted down on a whiteboard (picture below) and on my phone and gave a rating besides each run.  If I met my daily target it would get a “good” or “ok” rating.  If I broke my previous record or I achieve something different then I would give an “Awesome” rating.   And if for some reason I wasn’t able to run or missed a day, I would be so angry and furious that I would give a bad or poor rating.  I kept this whiteboard within my sight.  I would see it every day and it motivated me to do better each time.  The joy it gave me of writing it down on the board was more than the joy of completing a run that day.  Hence I made a point that in order to write I have to run.   I still have a mountain to climb before I can run 13 miles.  I have to improve on many aspects.  Eating the right food at the right time is also important.  Sleeping and taking enough rest is crucial to your health in these goals.  

I will update and write a post on how I did running my first ever Half marathon.  I read a quote and every day while running when I felt like giving up I remembered this quote and just kept running.  Here it goes.
"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired."

    - George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Life is challenging and without shoot for the moon goals life is not fun.  If you have a personal goal this year share with me and together we will learn a thing or two about how to make it happen.  If you are running a half marathon this year then drop a comment below.

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