So I completed my 3rd half-marathon last weekend – The Wild Half in Wildwood, NJ. To be honest, it was kind of a crazy weekend. 24 hours before the race I found myself in Manassas, VA so I could be a part of my godson’s 1st Holy Communion! I headed down to VA from NJ on Friday and crashed with some friends (thanks again, Jeff & Mandy!) before heading to the Communion. Once the Communion was over, I headed straight back to NJ so I could get to packet pick-up in time early Saturday evening.
Now, the race itself had some ups, some downs as well as some learnings:
* I was all alone for this race – which was a first for me. My wife was across the country and Wildwood isn’t close enough for my peeps to just wake up and cheer me on… it’s a few hours from home. So I ended up flying solo on this one, which was one of the harder things I’ve had to do.
* I did not train as hard as I did in previous half-marathons, and honestly it showed. I did pretty good the last few weeks before the race itself but, overall, training alone I had slacked more than I would have liked.
* Worst time ever for a half for me but between a mid-race ‘nature break’ :), less than stellar training as well as bad, bad memories from the last time I did this race, I definitely can’t complain about my performance. I felt great when I was done (the following days were a slightly different story ie: DOMS.)
Now, there’s a common denominator in all of this… ALONE. I gotta be honest with you guys – training alone pretty much stunk. I didn’t enjoy it one bit. I missed my wife and my friends. And, because I didn’t enjoy it, I didn’t push myself as hard as I should have (or have in the past.) I took more breaks, walked more, stopped more… I definitely noticed a difference.
And all of those feelings made me realize something – I don’t wanna do that anymore.
I didn’t enjoy training for a half-marathon alone. Those 2-3 hour training runs by myself were TOUGH, because I wanted to be anywhere BUT doing the run. So, it’s time to change some things up. My wife, brother AND brother-in-law all have told me the same thing – strength training will result in better weight loss, better physique, etc. I know they’re right… but I’m comfortable running, so I wanted to do it. As I’ve discussed before, I’m not comfortable in the gym. But, at this point, I have to embrace the change.
So, for now, I’m retiring my hydration belt and laying off of any distance running. I’m going to train smart, devote myself in the gym and try something, for me, that’s difficult and uncomfortable. I’m gonna try some shorter races… races that are different and fun. May even finally get that bike I keep putting off buying and do a duathlon with my wife. But, mostly, my time will be spent in the gym chiseling myself into a healthy, fit man.
I’ll keep you guys posted on how THAT goes… :) For now, here’s me crossing the finish line after 13.1 miles (coincidentally, in those HORRIBLE shoes that you should NEVER wear.)