As I posted about a month ago on my Insta story, I am officially running the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon next month! Part of me debated running the full distance (26.2) this year but after settling down from all my traveling in July and August, I realized it was not feasible. I sat down to plan out my training plan by counting back from race day with all the workouts I’d need to complete. Once I got the marathon plan fully laid out, I realized there was a major problem. According to that plan I would have to run 13.1 miles five days later. Even though I run every week, I was nowhere close to running 13.1 miles five days later. I also realized that I had about 13 weeks until race day and ideally I wanted and needed more time than that to prepare for my first marathon.
In the past, I’ve tried to cram all of this training into a short time and employ the “fake it til you make it” method. Spoiler alert: you cannot fake a marathon. At least I can’t. If you know someone that can, send them my way. I would love to speak to them. Anyway…
This year I decided to save myself the anxiety and make a smart decision – pick the distance I actually did have time to train for. And this got me really excited because I knew I would be able to really focus on hitting all of my training runs while also paying attention to my mental stamina.
I decided that no matter what, I would complete all of my weekend long runs, regardless of whether that meant I had to walk. Two weeks ago, I had to walk about one quarter of my five mile long run. This worked out for me in a couple of ways. By alternating running and walking every half mile, I was able to run faster and make my workout more of an interval challenge. It also helped me when I encountered a new friend on the trail.
I’ve been running in this nature preserve area of a local park for the last few years. There’s a paved trail along with natural habitat for rabbits, snakes and other desert creatures. And I’ve seen all of these aforementioned animals in my runs prior. But as I came around a corner I found a completely new creature – a coyote. For the first time in four years, I saw a coyote.
All of my “grew up in Idaho wilderness training” flew out my brain as I tried to recall if you’re supposed to scream and run away or play dead when you encounter a coyote. I decided to continue on my way slowly and the coyote went the other way while still keeping tabs on me.
Another runner passed me and didn’t even seem to notice the coyote. The coyote did not chase him so I learned that when encountering a coyote, just keep on moving. I was grateful that I was not attacked by a wild animal. I was grateful that I learned what to do when encountering a coyote in that particular park. And I was grateful for the moment. Sometimes we go through life so quickly that we miss the simple, beautiful details scattered along the way.
I’m pretty excited about my training for the first time in a while instead of dreading it. I know that every training run makes me a little bit stronger and a lot more determined. So I’m interested to see where I’ll be and how I’ll feel on race day.
As for tomorrow, I’m completing a 7 mile long run, hitting up a nice, easy stretching yoga class and after that I will FINALLY be watching El Camino – the Breaking Bad movie. So for the rest of the night I will be avoiding social media to decrease my chances of seeing spoilers. Last year around this time, A Star is Born was spoiled for me and I was not a happy camper. Only about 12 hours to go!
Science, bitch! Or I guess in this case – running, bitch!