Halfway to Half Marathon

This is my second time training for a half marathon. The first year that I lived in Atlanta I fell and sprained my ankle five weeks into a twelve week training plan.

After a brief recovery period and a year of casual running I decided to give it another shot. I didn’t want to jinx it by blogging about it until I was at least half way in.Today is the first day of week eight and training has been going much better than I expected.

I’m working from a really solid training plan that my Dudes Brunch co-host Shaun Evans wrote for me. I’ve been slacking on the meditation sessions he recommended, but the runs have ramped up nicely.

I did make the mistake of training for a race in the heat of the summer in the south. I’ve survived by doing most of my weekday runs at dusk and getting up early on Saturday mornings for the longer distances.

I invested in a set of Apple’s AirPods for this training season and it is one of the best decisions I made. I love not having to worry about wires and cords while running. And on short runs they allow me to leave my phone at home and just take my Apple Watch.1

Longer runs necessitate the iPhone both for safety and podcast playback. My half marathon is a week or so before watchOS 5 will be released and bring podcasts to Apple Watch. That’s fine though. I’m making it work in the meantime.

On those shorter runs I’ve been listening to a lot of new music. Apple Music’s curated workout playlists have been a great way to power through high intensity runs.

I’m slowly building up a playlist of new songs for race day, but in the meantime I’ve used the longer runs to keep up with The Talk Show, Pop Rocket and Accidental Tech Podcast.

Music and podcasts have been crucial in keeping my mind occupied throughout this process. As much as I’d like to be one of those zen-like runners that can focus intently on their breath, I’m not that guy. I need the distraction.

Now that the distances are getting longer than my typical 5k, I’ve had to start getting more inventive with routes. This weekend I spent a sunny Saturday morning zig-zagging through side streets in Atlanta’s artsy Cabbagetown neighborhood. It was the perfect street run.

I’m not sure where I’ll go when I start getting closer to ten miles, but I like the idea of just making it up as I go. It adds a sort of creativity to what might otherwise be a chore.

That’s actually what’s been the most interesting to me about all of this running. I expected to feel like more work than it has.

Yeah, it kinda sucks to come straight home from work and head out again. It is inconvenient to plan my weekends around workouts. The runs themselves, though, have been fun. More fun than I expected.

We’ll see if I feel that way come September.

A lot has already been written about how great Apple Watch is for running. I don’t have a lot of new insight to add here, except to say that things are only getting better this fall with watchOS 5.