Only 360-something days to train for next y...
So Sunday, the day after my less-than-exceptional finish in the Baltimore half-marathon, I was feeling pretty crappy. Especially when walking - I felt pretty sore. But mostly, I was mad at myself. Part of me was mad that I was in such bad shape - I was in the last 25 or so finishers in my age bracket, out of 580 or so. My time was almost 50 minutes higher than the average for my age. And part of me was mad at myself for not taking it seriously, not doing any training or anything.
But mostly, I guess I was sad that I wasn't in as good of shape as I thought I was - I'd convinced myself that I work out and eat reasonably decently, and thus I should be in great shape, and clearly I'm in considerably worse shape than I thought.
But I've moved on from self-pity, and instead am thinking "what concrete steps can I take to not suck so much next year?" Part of it is that I'm not in as awesome shape as I'd like to believe, but part of it is that I'm just not in great shape for running road races, because it's not something I've done or trained for. So I need to change that.
So I've got a few ideas. First of all, right now I do pretty much all my cardio at the gym, on precors and ellipticals. They are great for burning calories, because they are designed to use lots of energy but be gentler on knees and legs. Which is great if your only goal is weight loss, but not so great for getting used to running. So I'm adding a little bit of treadmill time to my daily workouts. So far it's only been about 10 minutes or so, but I hope to build up from there, and I'm trying to do it at the pace I need to average to get the time I'm hoping to run the whole race at next year.
I also need to spend some time actually running/jogging. Some of it can be inside, on the indoor track at my gym, but some of it needs to be outside, so I get used to running outside. Some of it also needs to be in bad weather, so I get used to that.
I also need to spend get back to eating healthy and losing weight - I'm pretty happy with where I am, but I still could stand to lose a few pounds, and if I can drop 5 or 10 pounds, that's 5 or 10 pounds less I need to carry around with me during the race.
I might also look into doing some other races - there are evidently a handful of other 10-miler and half-marathons in the area, and they would be good training and good experiences.
Part of me wonders if this is worth the time - I already work out for about 2 hours a day, and if I want to get competitive I need to increase that, as well as have days where I do 13 miles so I get used to it. But I need to prove to myself that I can actually compete, and time spent working out is probably better spent than time surfing the internet or watching mindless TV.