Jennifer Fontanez is a kindergarten teacher in South Jersey who is training for her first half marathon.
One month of training down, only two more months to go!
In week 4, I started keeping track of my pace for each run to see if I am able to maintain my pace as the mileage increases. So far, I have managed to hold my own with the pace whether it’s 3 miles or 6. I’ve been using coolrunnings.com as a quick pace calculator after each run to check on my time. I also ran with my dad this past weekend, who has run several marathons and is currently training for an upcoming marathon. This had me a little nervous about keeping my pace, since I know he has a faster mileage time than me and I didn’t want to try and run too fast at the beginning of the run and burn myself out. However, it was a great training run with him because he let me keep my own pace during the run and take the lead. He reminded me even though he’s running with me, this was still my training run, and I needed to keep my focus on keeping my pace steady.
With these longer runs, I have learned what it means to ‘settle into your pace’. When I first started running, it took much longer to settle into my running form, get my pace going, and run comfortably. Now, as I have been running consistently and extending my mileage, I can feel when I have settled into my run. What people don’t know when they say how amazing it is that I’m following this training program, is the regular challenge I face each and every time I run. Running still isn’t my favorite, and I’m reminded of this the first few minutes of my run when my mind is battling my body. I’m never in any sort of physical pain, but the thought of ‘you have to run for the next 6 miles’ can sometimes be intimidating. Once I’ve settled into my pace, have a good form going, and my breathing controlled, running actually doesn’t seem so bad. I love running outdoors, especially in the great spring weather. This week I ran just over 6 miles on my long run, which puts me almost at the halfway point of miles I’ll be running for the Wild Half Marathon!