I've started Hal Higdon's novice half marathon training plan and am trying to start off slow. I need to NOT run so hard and fast that I wipe myself out too much for the next day's training. So today, I ran 4 very very very slow miles. It took almost 55 minutes to cover the 4 miles, but I did it running the whole way. It aggravates me that keeping my heart rate at 65% max means over 13 minutes per mile, but I know if I keep at it, that time will decrease. I know from my race a week ago that I can run for 30 minutes with my heart in the red zone, but that it will take me days to recover and probably isn't the healthiest thing to do on a regular basis.
Hal's novice half is a 12 week training plan, but I've started 15 weeks out so I can repeat weeks if necessary, and not feel too guilty about taking a week off for vacation in a couple of months. My longest training run will be 10 miles and I'm actually looking forward to it. I've covered 10 miles before, but always with mostly walking so I didn't count it as a run. Really, if you count miles mostly walked, I'm pretty sure I've done sight seeing marathons with the only running being what was needed to catch a subway train :-)
I dream of running a marathon one day, but first I need to conquer the half, and maybe another length in between. Patience is not my strong point. The real highlight for today was, as I was running, nearing the half way mark, a startling flash of bright lapis blue streaked past my eyes. I watched it until it stopped and the vision of a bright blue bird lit on a near by branch. I thought, this is the real reason to run outside on a cold day, to see wonderful things I would never catch site of if I stayed inside.