The last time I wrote about running, I was training for a 5K, because I like to do things backwards (first race ever was 10 miles, followed by a half marathon a few months later—I didn't sign up for a 5K until I had been running for two and a half years. Makes total sense.)
Since then, I have invested in a Garmin watch (a carrot to keep me motivated—"well, if you want to spend boatloads of money on a fancy whizbang watch when the phone you already own can do the exact same thing, I guess you better get running"), ran a Halloween 5K in costume and survived, did last year's 10K Run the Bridge in Philly, PR'ed at this year's Broad Street Run and signed up for another half marathon.
I remember when I signed up for my first half marathon, I was thinking, "Oh, it's only three more miles than Broad Street, how hard can it be?" In hindsight, that's kind of an (ignorantly) arrogant thought. I had only just realized that I should get properly fitted for running shoes, I had leftover shin splints that made running and walking down stairs really uncomfortable and I didn't even know that I was supposed to fuel during long runs. ("Oh, my body is burning over 1,000 calories? I'll be fine with my peanut butter toast and water that I had for breakfast three hours ago. No big deal.") I finished the half marathon, but it was hot, sweaty, slow, and my pinky toes were definitely war-torn and bloody when I finally got my shoes off. Not to mention I was hobbling around like I had peg legs and I got a nasty cold immediately after the race and was pretty sure that I was experiencing what it would feel like to have been hit by a bus.
Now, I'm training for the 2013 Philly Half Marathon. It's taken me three years to want to do a half marathon after my first experience—I'd like to think I've learned a lot in those three years. Buy new shoes every 350 miles. Stretch a lot. For the love of god, make sure you eat something when you do long runs. Invest way too much money on Lululemon clothes that do not chafe and have plenty of pockets for tissues, car keys and energy foods.
So, how's that been going? Well, more on that tomorrow. For now I will tell you that my running achilles heel is now apparently my achilles heel. Womp womp.