My First Half-Marathon: Six Miles Closer

I hope you’re ready for a rollercoaster of a blog to go along with my rollercoaster of a week!

I’m not kidding. I started my week out with an injury (ah, finally, my chance at award-winning blogging), continued on to conquering my biggest running challenge yet, and finished it off by going to levels of self-torture I had sworn I would never reach just so I could blog about it. That’s right. I’m taking this blogging thing seriously. Everything I do now is for you guys.

Let’s start with that injury, shall we?

Last Sunday night, my back started to spasm. This is a chronic thing for me. It happens because I sleep in a position that I know I’m not supposed to sleep in, and it messes up the alignment of my spine. And then it really hurts. (And I swear to you that there is no pain worse than I-Have-No-One-to-Blame-But-Myself pain.) This meant lying flat on my back most of Monday, missing a workout with JK, and a trip to my chiropractor who scolded me as he fixed me.

All and all, it was an above-average case of the Mondays.

By Tuesday, I was walking around much better and the pain had been downgraded to merely annoying from actually debilitating. However, I had a workout scheduled with JK for that afternoon as well and I wasn’t sure how it would go.

Pre-blog Becca would have called it off. Pre-blog Becca would have happily stayed downstairs in her office and far away from her personal trainer given the excuse. But no longer! I went to training. We focused mostly on upper body. I spoke up if anything tweaked my back and we changed it. And, to be totally honest, I was much more loose and walking around better by the end of the session.

It’s almost like exercise improves your health or something.

Wednesday I was pretty much back to normal and walking around just fine. Which meant, (please cue the dramatic music), I was going to have to fulfill my promise to JK that I would meet that goal I set last week and run six miles.

Six miles is a long way. It seems so much longer than five miles. It is, I realized, only two-tenths of a mile shorter than a 10k – that oh so subtle higher echelon of running awesomeness.

So, because I can’t do anything by halves, I decided I was going to surprise my dear trainer and instead of running just the six miles I had promised, I was going to try my very hardest to run 6.214 miles. A 10k.

And you know what? I did!

It was not easy. I was hot and sweaty and exhausted when I finished. It took me about an hour and twenty minutes, averaging approximately a 12-minute mile. When I stepped off the treadmill, I’m pretty sure my face was redder than my hair, and my legs felt like jelly. But I also felt pretty fantastic. A 10k! I am, officially, basically a superhero.

So that’s a pretty amazing feeling and I have all of you to thank for it! I’m sure I would have given up weeks ago if I didn’t have this blog keeping me honest. And that’s why I decided to do something for you:

I got in the cold plunge.

That’s right. That beautiful, recently rebuilt RVC cold plunge that I once swore was a level of self-inflicted torture I would never go to and I had a date last week and, as you can tell, I lived to tell the tale.

After my long run, everyone kept telling me the cold plunge was going to be the best way to keep myself from being in terrible pain the next day. And I kept laughing at them because it wasn’t going to happen. But then, somehow, I found myself in the locker room, putting on my bathing suit and heading to the pool area.

Following the advice of a member I chatted with while foam rolling, I got in the hot tub first. I was convinced this was going to make the pain of getting in the 50 to 55 degree water that much worse, but he assured me it would make it better and I decided to trust him.

I’m not going to lie to you, the first moments of lowering myself into that icy water were unpleasant. But by the time I had set the timer on my phone for five minutes, I was pretty numb from the belly button down and the time went by a lot faster than I expected. If anything, getting into the hot tub again afterward was the most painful part – pins and needles like you wouldn’t believe!

So did it help? You know, I think it did. Friday I was moving around pretty easily. I had my tennis lesson and went up and down the stairs a lot without misery. I had some soreness settle in that evening, but nothing I couldn’t handle.

I guess that means that, overall, my review of the cold plunge is actually positive. Give it a try next time you’ve pushed yourself really hard and see if you have any change in your recovery time!

If nothing else, it’ll give you the bragging rights to say you did it.

Countdown to Half-Marathon: 68 days.
Mood: Proud!
Longest Distance Run: 6.214 miles!
Number of Workouts Last Week: 4 (two running, one strength, one tennis).
Goal for This Week: Seven mile run!

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What our members say

 Jennifer Packard
Jennifer Packard

Whether you’re just starting out, trying to get back into a routine, or are feeling frustrated with your current regimen: Your fitness journey is your own. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

 Terry Hall
Terry Hall

‘Can’t’ is no longer in my vocabulary, and I have a sense of pride in my ability to work toward a goal and not only achieve it, but often exceed it.