The Flying Pig is just about a month away. I have not written a training update for quite a while.
In short, March was about Bali. Travel. Amazement. Yoga. Jet lag. Not half-marathon preparation. I only logged 37 total miles in March. Not exactly a twenty miles per week schedule. It is not all my fault. The weather has been really cold and wet. My body hovered between being completely asleep and using the few waking hours I had to keep my job. It is difficult to work out when your body is in a complete state of exhaustion. Even eating enough to power through a run is hard when you can’t stay awake.
April has gotten off to a much better start. I am now eating and sleeping like a regular human being. I have been able to complete short runs on several evenings and get two eight miles runs in on amazingly beautiful Sundays. The flowering trees have welcomed my renewed energy. The river moves quickly at her spring pace. The sunshine has returned to light my way. My body has missed the warmth. Hitting the road the last week has allowed me to experience the whisper of Spring before it finds its full-throated beauty. Even road construction signals a change in the season and helps my attitude improve. I soak it all in.
To get back on track, I found a half-marathon training schedule. I had been loosely following a training schedule prior to Bali, but had started to ignore it as I missed run after run. I found a new schedule that appears doable for the next four weeks until race day. It has three runs during the week and a long run on the weekend. Pretty standard. It also outlines days in which cross-training needs to happen. That fits with my yoga practice. It will help me stay on track during this final push. The structure is good for me. I have several work trips scheduled this month, so knowing exactly what I have to do to train during the coming and going will be helpful. As I see other people out running, I know I am not the only person to be experiencing this final push toward race day. There is a positive energy on the road.
Yesterday was a particularly wonderful training day. I ran eight miles in the morning and followed it with a yoga class that was focused on stretching. I can not describe how wonderful both felt. Prior to yesterday, my long runs had not yet gotten to the place where I could relax. They were mostly painful. Yesterday was different. I could breathe. My legs did not feel heavy. I think I even smiled along the way. I know the fact the weather was perfect played into my joy, but last week had been beautiful as well and my legs felt like they had been filled with cement. There was something special about yesterday morning. I knew it was going to be good when the first song on my Pandora shuffle was a John Prine cover of My Old Kentucky Home. That was an amazing way to center my mind as I got going. So much of it is about finding a quiet space and breathing into the experience. Strength plays a role, don’t get me wrong. But in both running and yoga, I am learning it is mostly about the breath.
Onward toward the first Sunday in May.