This has been harder than any other training program I have ever held myself too.  My body aches in ways it never has before and I keep asking myself “Why is this so difficult for me this time around?” When I answer myself back it sounds like my Father’s voice and it says, “You’re comparing apples to oranges, you’ve never done THIS before.”

It’s the absolute truth. Not that I haven’t done a half marathon or seven. But I’ve never trained for one under these circumstances.  I’ve been benched in the middle of training before due to recovery from reconstructive plastic surgery after massive weight loss. But I’ve never tried to train for a half while working out of the house and while teaching exercise classes four to seven times a week.

I love my job as a weight loss and wellness coach. But this training schedule was a little more than I bargained for. I’m excited that we’re almost done.  I’m proud of what I have been able to do. But if I am telling the truth, I’m happy that it is almost over. We’re seventeen days away from the Run Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon.

My Dad would be so proud of me.

When I first wrote this article I thought that my pace time for my last half marathon (Another solo half marathon I did a little over a week ago) was the same as the one I ran as part of our team training for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon that my last contest winner and I did back in January. When I pulled the times down I realized I was wrong. Silly Pandora, the number I was looking at was distance NOT time. In fact, in the last ten months my run time has improved by one minute and 11 seconds!

There is a part of me that really wants to run this Half Marathon with a pace time that comes in under 13 minutes a mile. That part of me that always wants to do better than last time. throughout my weight loss journey I’ve learned that no matter what anyone else thinks of my speed or pace time or performance; the only person I am competing with is myself. I teach my clients this same philosophy in training.

Since July I’ve been pacing twelve plus miles, but I’ve also been running much shorter distances, it wasn’t until the end of September that we started running over ten miles at a time and maintaining your pace over longer duration is more difficult.

That doesn’t mean I won’t push as hard as I can at this Wine and Dine half marathon to try to pull off a better time but it does mean that I won’t try to do that at the Hallowed Half Marathon that I’m doing on October 26th because an injury at that event could throw off the one I have actually been training for. I have to stay focused on the main event.

By then of this year I will have completed a total of nine half marathons – something I never would have even imagined I would be saying about myself. I need to remember to take that victory along with a 71 second improvement time and celebrate it rather than trying to push for a new goal this late in the game.

My Daddy used to tell me to always practice what you preach.

When I help my clients set goals I try to teach them that the goals they set have to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. I teach them to set one goal at a time and not to get too carried away.

I have to remember to hold myself to the same standards. I don’t get to decide three weeks before an event to suddenly change the goal. If I want to set a goal to run faster, I have to train specifically for that and that, as my Dad would say, would be a whole different ball game.

I’m the type of person that often bites off more than I can chew. Since I tend to work well under time pressure, I pull it off. But I’ve been working on this promise to myself not to do that right. I already have my next goal set and it doesn’t involve pace times or even running. So before I set a new goal, I need to achieve the goal I am currently working on; completing the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in less than three hours and remember that I my next goal is already set.

There is a post it notes in my mind that reminds me what my next goal is so that I don’t allow myself to get distracted or procrastinate any longer. So for right now, I’m going to keep my eye on the prize; That Wine and Dine Half Marathon medal and trying to insure that inscription on the back that marks my pace time for that event starts with a two instead of a three.


Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

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