I learned a valuable and painful lesson during the 2006 Chicago Half Marathon about the importance of training.
In preparation for that half marathon, I followed a standard running plan. I did all the necessary runs in the beginning. Then about a month before the race, my work schedule got extremely busy and I no longer had time for my long runs. I thought I could just wing it at the half marathon because I did most of the runs. In fact, I had even run nine miles during one of my long runs (which seemed like a lot at the time)!
When race day came, I felt great for the first nine miles. But when I hit mile ten, and for the remaining three miles, my legs were in extreme pain and I was really dragging. My body was just not properly prepared for the entire race because I skimped on the training. Luckily, Molly pulled me through by telling me how close we were to the end.
When I finished, I was so miserable that I told myself I’d ran as far as I ever wanted to and I was done running. In fact, I didn’t run again for an entire year. It was a painful lesson to learn, but a valuable one.
Now that I’m preparing for the Disney Marathon in Jan 09, my head is focused on training hard and not skimping. I can’t say that it won’t be painful, but I will be as prepared as possible to enjoy the experience.
You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming. – Frank Shorter