Half Marathon Update

This past Saturday marked my last day of training for the half marathon.

I started training for this in the beginning of June. I balanced a new job, riding, and an increasingly more rigorous running schedule in the hottest summer I can remember. I've been living in Philly almost five years and I've seen more of it in the past three months of training than my entire time before that.
The Delaware River Trail. This one's right in the city!
The biggest change I've noticed though, is in my riding. There were so many times I would be working through something, either on my own or in a lesson, and I'd realize a few months ago I would've hit my limit. Sometimes if Runkle is feeling sassy and we have to figure eight over two jumps for five or ten minutes straight, waiting for him to settle and learn.

Cause I'm a nerd, here's my average heart rate over time.
Note that my runs have only gotten longer as I've progressed.
Instead of barely stringing together jumps and clinging to his neck I was able to sit and ride and push through it. As it got colder and he got more full of himself, being more fit meant he couldn't dump me when I got tired. I realized how lucky I was that my prior horses were okay just kinda taking care of me when I got exhausted. It isn't fair to ask that of Runkle. He doesn't even know what I want yet! He shouldn't be expected to learn and take care of me.

remember when we used to jump things??
Even though the race is a little over a week away, I still felt like it's over. The hardest part - running four times a week and doing three ten mile runs - is done. Now I'm on training vacation, or taper.

Or so I thought.

So far, taper SUCKS. My friend Alex who is a marathon runner and way faster than me explains it far better in her post here. But to put my own spin on it, this is by far the worst I've felt in the whole training process. Maybe with the exception of the first week where I was sore because I hadn't done more than flop around on the couch in years.

I run the Ben Franklin Bridge once a week. It sucks.
But this week I have had shorter runs and more time off than I've had in about three months and it's terrible. My legs felt like wood. I was a wooden puppet that needed her joints greased. Everything hurt. I barely struggled through a three mile run before giving up because for some reason my knee hurt. My knees have never ever bothered me. Ever. Why did I suddenly have old person knees??

Then yesterday my run felt significantly less wooden. The first mile went great. But as I went on I started to feel like I was running through really deep sand. I guess because some asshole dumped invisible sand all down front street that I had to run through.

In an attempt to remain optimistic, I keep reminding myself that in nine days I'll really  be done. And because of the time change I don't have to do my runs in the dark alone anymore!

It helps that fall is so pretty :D
I have no idea how the race is going to go. I have goals, and I've worked very hard to reach them. But I had a lesson pre Splintember where Runkle tried to buck me off (because he hit a jump due to his own laziness, which is totally my fault, wow I'm such an asshole) and I didn't fall off because I wasn't exhausted.

I bet no one else in the half has that victory.


  1. Replies
    1. thanks! if you never hear from me again, it's because I died on it. RIP.

  2. Good luck with your race! I hope you meet your goals. I have loved seeing your Instagram posts about your hatered of running and yet you stick with it. Kudos because I'm not that dedicated

    1. LOL yeah I really.... I keep waiting to like it but I still don't (yet?) Luckily I'm really competitive so that's kept me trucking along.

  3. Good luck! Mine isn't until January, although I've done this one before so I know what to expect this time around. I'll be honest, I do not follow the typical training schedule, my physical issues don't allow it. But last time I managed a 2:12 half, and this time I'll be happy if I'm just somewhere around 2:30. Either way, it's a great achievement!

    1. hah - I'd LOVE to get 2:30. Thats my a+ goal, but I'll be happy if I squeak in under 3 hours. I have no idea how I'll feel on race day lol.

  4. You're going to be great! Take it all in, enjoy the crowds, and don't be afraid to ask for more cow bell.

  5. i can't even imagine running like that but my friend trained for and did the balitmore half a couple times and felt so immensely fulfilled and rewarded by the experience. regardless of time or whatever, i'll be rooting for you!!

    1. thank you!! i couldn't really imagine it either but somehow im here.

      I really dont know how lol.

  6. Good luck at your half! I have such a love/hate on/off relationship with running so I really admire your dedication. I have noticed that my spin classes help my cardio a lot and that is a major help when riding my baby warmblood.


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