4 Months and Counting

So, almost half a year to go, right?

Here I am, entering February excited as this is when my pre-Helsinki Half Marathon routine starts taking shape. Yes, I am highly motivated to change my attitude towards training and my meal plan dramatically. Piece of cake (no, it’s not).

I’ve never broken 1:50:00 in an official HM race before. Why so? My own need to move more than anything and a bit of stupidity. My first half marathon which I ran 2.5 years ago, was a bit of a blur due to the nerves, the excitement for the crowd and the atmosphere. The result was brought by the good old adrenaline stopping the watch at 2:02:something. The second one was more epic – who knew that getting 20,000 steps in walking around a new city with plenty of elevation the day before would affect my stamina? Oh well… Talk smart here. However, in Helsinki I’m boldly opting for 1:45:00 and I mean it.

This time though, I have a plan. The first part? Get a coach! Revolutionary, I know. I used to prepare for my races myself, even for such huge races as my first marathon. Just me, myself and I. Nemo to compete with, nemo to motivate or inspire either. Last summer, I did learn how much good coaching can help one achieve their best. I was lucky enough to get coached by an elite athlete with all the inspiration, advice and help in pushing my limits way out of my comfort zone as a bonus. Even since we started working together, I broke 2 PBs to my own surprise. On the grand scale, my PBs were not that B, but still.

The second part of the plan? Run somewhere that gives you energy. There are a few cities in the world that I can really call my battery charger, and Helsinki is one of them. As many St. Pete residents, I’ve been visiting for short periods for a long time and every time I come to the beautiful Finnish capital, it engulfs me with this great calm energy and lets me breathe this just small bit freer. Could I have ever imagined that the feeling is mutual? I’m a #HHM2018 Ambassador now!

The most important part is also that for the first time I am starting my HM preparation this far off to get a grip. I will be more disciplined and smarter about it this time, throwing away the doubtful eating choices and getting a sleep and training regimen to stick to, as well as dancing with the bears and bathing in snow. Moreover, I do believe it, not so sure about the latter two though. Raising my glass of isodrink to that. The other two parts are for calming my nerves and body during training – yoga and swimming. Running is incredibly liberating for the mind, but the hard work on muscles and joints doesn’t always go unnoticed. Doing yoga and going for swims is what keeps my body and my mind fresh during the training. So, these are my three friends for the next 4 months – my yoga mat, the track and the pool. And the food. That one’s not a friend, rather family.

Here I am, entering February excited and looking forward for the year to come. This one’s quite promising. Stay tuned for my journey… or go for a run. Better do both!