Training for any half marathon can be a blood sucking vampire in terms of time and energy. It requires a large amount of dedication and discipline, both of which aid in preparing your mind and body for long distance running. You become used to your training regiment to a point that it becomes a necessity in your life. But, what I didn’t realize was that when I crossed the finish line it meant my training abruptly ended.
The first week off from running was a nice return to the reality that was my life before training. However, when I hit week two and the frequency of my runs had diminished I noticed a quiet longing for my strict schedule. I suppose I had become so used to following the program that I felt incomplete, or at least that something was lacking in my life. It’s hard to believe that I would miss the stiffness in my knees or the tendonitis in my ankle, but in some crazy dissidence between my mind and body, I longed for the pain. Gone were the 4, 5 and 10 mile runs that overwhelmed my life and immersed me in the world of a runner. The weekend was no longer filled with an early Saturday morning run that left me incapacitated for the rest of the day and rendered me slightly useless. Suddenly, I had time and more energy, but I didn’t have my training.
Almost a month later I have moved past the longing for my half marathon training program. I have slowly engrossed myself in my old routine, which means much more weights, lots of cross training and a lot less pain. I had lost a lot of muscle during my training and for a guy that’s not always so much fun. It’s also nice to not worry that every cough or sneeze could lead to a debilitating sickness that could derail my training. Most of all, it’s great to get more time with friends and family. In fact, it’s about time Rachel and I took our trips to Houston and Washington to see some friends of ours, since we cancelled twice in order to ensure we stayed on task.
Overall, I wouldn’t trade the time we spent training for anything in the world. In fact, we have stayed committed to at least one long run of 8 miles or more a week to stay in long distance running shape. We have many ½ marathon and marathons in our future so this definitely isn’t going to be the last time we train. Actually, I am kind of looking forward to our next big run. But, for now I am going to enjoy our return to normalcy with the lack of pain, more time, extra energy and increased confidence. I am going to keep running, because that’s what I do now…I run…just maybe not so much. I am sure my body is grateful for that.