Beginning the Taper

Well, I made it.

Last September I decided (to try) to learn to like running. I had been running here and there, off and on, all summer. In September, I decided to chose a goal (first I thought I’d try a half marathon, then decided “go big or go home” and I entered the lottery for the Ogden Marathon).

For someone who hates running, choosing to run a marathon may seem absurd. My thought was this: If I still don’t like running after training for a marathon, I’m allowed to hate it for the rest of my life. But just maybe I’ll learn to like it.

If you’d like to know all my tips for doping yourself out the door, here is my last post: Run

Running 17 miles in a blizzardSince I started tracking my running last September, I’ve run over 820 miles and worn out two pairs of shoes. I ran 113 miles outside in the coldest and grossest January Salt Lake has seen in years. Since the new year, I’ve done eleven runs at half marathon distance or longer, including my last one which was 22 miles. I’ve had ice crack under me, drop me in a giant hidden mud puddle at mile twelve of a seventeen mile run in the middle of a blizzard. My pace has gotten faster, I’ve gotten stronger and I’ve already achieved my main goal: To change (one part) of my life by learning to like running.

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but it did.

For a lot of people, the goal is the race. And don’t take me wrong, I’m excited for May 18th when, Lord willing, I’ll run my 26.2 miles. But my main goal was to successfully complete the training. To honestly complete it, without cutting corners or being soft on myself. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit this, but it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. That has left me thinking that perhaps I need to try some harder things in life. 🙂

My conclusion? I wish I hadn’t waited so long. If you’re on the fence and waiting for another day, get off the fence. (This applies to multiple arenas in life). God has made humans to glorify Him — He has given us amazing abilities to experience all that he has made. Whether that is in testing the endurance of the made-in-the-image-of-God human spirit or seeing the beauty of art or majesty of this earth, we should be living these lives to the full. Tomorrow I could be in a car accident, or one of my kids could have something terrible happen to them, or or or…. but today, today I can enjoy all that God has given me, and press on to know Him all the more.

In any case, you can virtually cheer me on (as long as I make it through the taper without losing my mind or dying or breaking my legs) as I go and see if all this training worked by trying to run my 26.2 on May 18.

update
follow me live (or watch a boring replay) here: http://www.racemyrace.com/hosted/ogden_full.php?rid=161&rrid=20086

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Wondering what on earth “tapering” is? It is a significant but gradual cut in running mileage in the weeks prior to a race. According to 2006 U.S. mountain running champion, Nicole Hunt, tapers “bolster muscle power, increase muscle glycogen, muscle repair, freshen the mind, fine-tune the neural network so that it’s working the most efficiently, and most importantly, eliminate the risk of overtraining where it could slow the athlete down the most.”

LLC Utah, climbing approach

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