One of my resolutions this year is to run a half-marathon. I am currently sitting at home with the flu, having not run for a week, and I’m finding it quite hard to think about doing serious training. So, while I’m laid-up and my new Garmin (yay!) is not being used, let me describe my year of running in 2012.
First, some ancient history: I ran when I was much younger – in fact when I was 11 I ran (and won) a three-mile race faster than I could run it these days. It’s in the family too: my father used to run (three marathons) and my aunt still runs and wins various distances at age (very nearly) 60. I stopped running during high school and never really did it again.
In January 2012 my desire to start running again became so great that I persuaded my husband to join me in attempting the Runner’s World couch-to-5km program. We did an 8 week program (which I think probably took us 10 weeks in the end), starting in week 1 with “run one minute, walk 90 seconds, repeat eight times”. Oh boy. Turns out I could barely run a minute! This is despite the fact that I cycled to work and back 5 times a week.
However, we persevered and in March 2012 met our goal of running the short-loop 5km path around Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, Australia, in about 30 minutes (note – very flat!).
Then we had a considerable break while we moved our lives from Australia to the US. Sometime during the Boston summer I decided to enter the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women, held in October, and this gave me about 8 weeks to train. At the time I was reading “Runner’s World complete book of Women’s Running” (borrowed from the library) and decided to use the “Intermediate Training Plan”.
The beginning few weeks of the plan was this: Run 4 times a week – three times for 30 mins and the fourth time do a long run -building by 5 minutes a week from 30 mins to 60 mins. Coincidentally the build-up to running 60 minutes matched the exact time available before the 10km. Perfect!
So in October 2012 I ran my first race in many years and had a great time! I had some pacing issues – I started off WAY too slowly. I think I ran the first half in 35 minutes and the second half in 29 minutes but no matter – it was fun to overtake everyone for the second half the race!
In the meantime I had also started running with the HSSPA Run-for-fun club (ably led by Helen – who will be one of my partners in crime for the Half – right Helen?). Since this running group was very multicultural we decided we should do something traditionally American on Thanksgiving. So we entered the Annual Gobble Gobble Gobble 4-miler Turkey Trot in Somerville, MA. I ran it at a considerably faster pace than the 10km. Mind you, I paid for it later with a flare-up of an old soccer injury to my ankle.
So here we are. Boston got cold and rainy (and snowy!) and I joined the gym so I would have no weather-related excuse not to run. I found out rapidly that teadmills are EXTREMELY BORING, especially if you are forced to stare at a blank wall for half an hour. So I’ve only been running on and off since Thanksgiving.
Once I’ve talked to Helen and my other partner in half-marathon plans, coincidentally called Hélène, I will reveal our plans for nailing a Half in the spring.