Internet, my legs are made of pain.
I started my half-marathon training program two weeks ago. We were supposed to be running fifteen miles a week for six weeks beforehand to be ready. I...was not. No problem though, right? Except the mileage went steeply uphill. We're running five days a week, four to six miles per day so far. My legs were not prepared for this.
Particularly last Tuesday, when our schedule said "four miles with hill repeats". Except it should have said "four miles PLUS hill repeats" because those hill repeats sure did add a whole extra mile in the middle of that four. And the running store where we start and finish is located on perhaps the one and only large hill in all of Pensacola. I think they planned that.
So far, I've ended up mostly running alone since I'm running at a pace slower than the fast people, but able to run the whole distance, so I'm ahead of the people who need to walk. (This is good motivation, since I know if I walk, they might pass me and while it's not about winning, it's a little bit about not coming in last.) But I talk to people before and after and also it's forcing me to run, not only on the days we run together, but on the other days as well, in an effort to be in better shape for the days we do run together.
I'm in San Antonio this week, where it is even hotter than Pensacola (though less humid) so I'm having to get up and run at 6:30. The one bright spot in this is that I get to run with San Antonio Roommate Holly, meaning we've had much more time to talk than we otherwise would. And I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can count on Holly to not be cheerful at me while running, especially at indecent hours of the morning. She is also amenable to meeting at Starbucks so we can go in for a post-run iced coffee afterward.
It also makes me feel less guilty about eating fried and cheese-covered Tex-Mex food. Which I intend to do today for both lunch and dinner. I'm pretty sure even with the running, I won't break even, calorie-wise, but it'll still be better than if I hadn't run.
Which I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have if it weren't for the training group. So I'm happy that it's keeping me on track and feel good about being better trained for this half-marathon than I ever have been before. It'll be nice to go into this race feeling like I'm as well prepared as possible.
And it really, really feels good to be back in the groove of running lots of miles a week again. Even if my quads and hamstrings would say otherwise.