Playing Catch-Up, Part II

Part two for the two reasons I’m playing catch-up.  That is, 1) I’m trying to bring the record up to date, and 2) I am literally trying to catch-up on training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 4th.  Fortunately, I still have enough time to train properly for the race.  But I am not where I was hoping to be by now.  Let’s go through this quickly….

First, let’s back up and explain why I am even registered for the race.

When registration opened in the fall, I just couldn’t justify the expense of the registration, which I believe started at $75.  Naturally, the price increases over time, and my bank account balance wasn’t following suit.  So I’d pretty much decided that I wasn’t going to run it again this year.  On one hand, I was disappointed because I have never been to a “big” race and because I think every other runner I know has completed  a half or a full marathon in Pittsburgh.  At the same time, I figured it wasn’t that big a deal.  The Pittsburgh Marathon will still be here next year.  And the next year.

Then, over Christmas break, my sister-in-law Sue was telling me about how our friend Linda (who participated in the relay last year) was trying to talk her into registering for the half marathon.  (Sue has run a few races and trained using 5K and 10K apps.  A half would be a first for her.)  I explained that I wasn’t planning to run it because I didn’t want to cough up the money (by this point in time, the entry fee was over $100).

The following day, Sue was cleaning out her purse on my mother’s living room floor.  It was like Mary Poppins with her carpet bag –    a bottomless pit of Sue’s things, my niece’s stuff, gift cards, trash, etc.  Suddenly, she pulled something out and flung it at me.  It bounced off the wall and landed at my feet.

Sue: “Grab that.”

Me: “What IS it?” [thinking it looks like a token for Chuck E. Cheese’s]

Sue: “It’s a gold coin we got at work for the company’s 150th anniversary.  It’s been in my purse for five months.  Take it to the pawn shop, and then register for that race.”

Me:  “?????”

It looked something like this.

It looked something like this.

The next morning, I went to the pawn shop and got $85 for the coin.  So I forked over a mere $20 and change to register for the race.

Did you get that?  I am running the half marathon in Pittsburgh because my SIL threw gold at me.  Literally.  Has anyone ever thrown gold at you?  I didn’t think so.  And yeah, I totally want to be her when I grow up, too.

As soon as I was registered, I mapped out a training plan*.

It was so exciting!  

For like a minute.

Then winter showed up, big time this year.  Between the dangerously low temps and the icy, treacherous conditions, many, many runs were skipped in January and February.  Once we got some decent weather,  I was trying to “catch up” on training – trying to run more miles than I was really ready for.   And that just can’t be done – especially when you’re my age.  So I wised up, quit being so hard on myself, and adopted a saner approach of accepting where I am, and carefully following a plan to gradually build both endurance and speed.

Now I just need to be disciplined and stay very close to my training plan for the weeks that remain.  Lucky for me, I have some awesome training buddies to assist me.  There’s my crazy, 5:00 AM weekday group, which fortunately has included Karin lately.  I can keep up with Karin!  When Karin and I are there, we each have a buddy to run with, instead of just watching the other gals disappear into the horizon.  And then there is Jill S., with whom I have been doing my long runs early on weekend mornings.  Jill is the only person I know who also prefers to run very early, even on the weekends.  She typically goes at 6:00, but she’s willing to meet me as early as 5:00 (that’s AM, people!) when I have to get back home early (e.g., so Bob can leave for track meets and practices).  I pretty confident that I’d struggle to get my workouts in – especially the long runs – if I had to go it alone.  So God bless my running friends for also being out there.

So what’s up next?  I’m embarking on a “purification” program that I’m hoping will help me kick some nasty habits/addictions (e.g., sugar, caffeine), as well as help me kick-start some weight-loss plans.  That is, I am hoping this plan will get me into some better routines for eating so that I can actually lose the pounds that I’ve put on in the last year or some (and more), instead of just talking about how I’m going to lose weight.

——

*Note: Since my SIL was also in need of a training plan, I bought her her very own copy of my beloved Train Like a Mother, by Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell.  I figured it was the least I could do for her in exchange for her generosity! 

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