I didn’t start running until shortly before I got into triathlons. I didn’t see the point of it…and it hurt. I couldn’t run more than a block without stopping. Then, one day, I decided to push myself to keep moving forward. I ran a block, walked a block, ran a block, walked a block, for a mile. I kept at it and I could finally run a mile without stopping. My goal for my first triathlon (Cy-man in 2005) was to run the entire 5k without having to walk, and I did it! At the Run for the Schools in 2006 I did the 10k. Shortly after the half-way point, there is an out and back section in which the 10k turns around, but the half marathon runners keep going. I had a friend doing the half, and I remember thinking she is amazing! I couldn’t imagine running over twice the distance of the race I was doing.
I gradually increased my running and the following year I decided to give the Pigman Long Course a try, which has a half marathon run after completing a 1 mile swim and 56 mile bike. While training, I injured my adductor and spent the next two and a half years recovering with most of the time not being able to run. It was very frustrating, but I learned to appreciate running.
Of the three disciplines in triathlon, running has always be my weakest. It’s very rare that I pass someone, and not uncommon to be passed. I’m usually spending the entire run wondering how close behind me my next competitor is and if I will be able to hold them off from passing me.
So, this winter Coach Daniel and I have been working on my running speed (and a small attempt at my shuffle form, which I didn’t realize was so prominent until I saw a film of me running...Ugh!). I have been putting in more run miles than in the past, and increasing my pace on speed work. Most weeks the team meets up for track workouts which have really pushed me not only physically, but mentally as well.
The first ‘test’ of my fitness is tomorrow at the Marion Rotary UICCU Half Marathon. I ran the race last year with a finish time of 1:42:51, which is a pretty typical time for the amount of training I put into it. My PR is 1:36:11 from the 2011 Race for the Roses in Portland when I was gearing up for Kansas 70.3, which is early in the season, and is the same year I did Ironman Wisconsin. Up until very recently I assumed that would always be my PR.
Hmmm…what will tomorrow bring? Whatever it is, I hope it doesn't include the 70% chance of thunderstorms which would postpone or cancel the race.