The truth about my half marathon training this year

My training in 2022 turned out to be less than desirable. I finished 2021 on such a high, but I couldn’t get that to carry over into the new year. What was the problem? I can’t nail down just one thing, but I was burnt out on training, family life got busy, and the motivation to do my best and better than before wasn’t in me. 

I spent 2021 getting into the running groove to prepare for a half marathon. I spent most of the year building my base for training. My half-marathon goal race turned out to be a flop, so I signed up for another race a few weeks later, leaving me feeling satisfied. But then the desire burned off.  

A year of running. What happened, what went right, and what went wrong

I kept a very steady race schedule of one race a month. My motivation started to fade the closer we got to our family vacation in April. I had enough of scheduled runs and workouts, but I persisted. Summer rolled around, and I was determined to keep pushing because taking off summer running doesn’t make a fun fall. But the weather was HOT, and the time allowance bumped into the hot temperatures. I needed to stay consistent, and then I caught COVID.  

I had not signed up for any fall races when August rolled around, so to get myself motivated, I signed up for the Texas Bridge Series (two 10k races and a half marathon) and the Dallas Marathon weekend (1 mile, 5k, and half marathon).  

But at the end of September, I suffered some IT band issues, hampered my running even more. I felt confident finishing my September and October 10K races with IT band syndrome, but I didn’t know if I could cross a half marathon finish line. I couldn’t walk any distance without feeling any pain. These issues forced me to buckle down, do my stretches, and strengthen my problem areas. 

I did my training runs, even if they turned into walks, and things started to look up. Finally, in my last long run, I could walk without pain. I decided not to push the race by trying to run, so I walked all 13.1 miles of the half marathon and felt no pain.

Fast forward to now, I’m doing better and incorporating my run/walk intervals into my training. My half marathon is this weekend, and I will try to run some parts of this race but will walk when I need to.  

I plan to be back in full swing for the Louisiana Marathon weekend, where I plan on running the quarter and half marathons. 

What went wrong?

My main running goal for 2022 was to get a faster half marathon, but I can only achieve my goals if I put in the work.  

  1. I stopped working with my running coach because of the extra monthly cost. This mistake may have been because I thought I could take that consistency into a new season. That was not the case.
  2. I should have taken time off between training cycles instead of pushing forward. A break is necessary to keep the mind positive. 
  3. I should have set a firm goal regarding running a faster half marathon. I still needed to develop a plan for achieving my goal. My goal was just an idea because I never implemented the system to make the goal become a reality.
  4. I was not getting great sleep. Sleep is vital, and sometimes I couldn’t make it through the day. 
  5. Running never used to be my workout; it was something I did for fun. I put too much pressure on myself to work out. And then, I became a mom, and my workout time shrank to an hour a day, so running had to be incorporated into my workout routine. Something that shouldn’t be stressful became a burden in my life.  

What went right

  1. When summer came, I wanted to focus on my strength training. I wouldn’t say I like strength training, but I could run for days and days. I knew something needed to change, so I put strength training into my workout schedule. 
  2. I worked hard and stayed patient through my injury. Most people aren’t willing to wait it out and do other things to help things get better. But I took the time to let myself rest when I needed to and kick myself into gear when things were on the line. Most importantly, I took the time to learn the stretches I required and took the time to stretch.
  3. I learned to give myself grace with getting my workouts. If I missed a workout, it was ok. Sometimes I did my best to do the exercise on another day, and other times I just had to let it go. I can’t beat myself up for some days being busier than others. I had to learn to adapt to life and have a healthier mindset about working out.

What’s next

I am seeking my running coach certification. Studying for my running certification is something else I fell behind on this year, but this will be my main goal for 2023. 

I wish I would be training for a marathon in 2023, but I don’t have the right mindset to train for a marathon. I need more hours in the day to prepare. But never say never; I have the itch to run the New York City Marathon. 

But I will train to run a faster half marathon by increasing my run/walk intervals. I also hope to have a better back half a race and cross every finish line with a positive attitude. I sometimes don’t enjoy the moment because I’m thinking about what I could have done better. That’s the right mindset to have. That mindset shows I have the drive to get better and be better. 

I am looking forward to training for the Louisiana Marathon in January! The Louisiana Marathon weekend is my FAVORITE race of the year. The vibes are upbeat and fun, making me excited about running year after year. I plan to run a solid race to set the foundation for my running year. (If you want to run any race during the Louisiana Marathon weekend, use code  BibRaveTLM15Off for 15% off.)

Do you have any fitness goals for 2023?  Please share, and let’s cheer each other on!