SSS #185: Non-Obvious Benefits of Training for a Half Marathon


G'morning to everyone except whoever gave us Strep. šŸ™…šŸ½ā€ā™‚ļø


Livin' La Vida Luna y Luca

When Luna says, "I'll be Ariel and you can be Belle, OK?"

If all goes according to plan, you're receiving this email just as I leave the starting line of The Jersey City Half Marathon.

Deciding to run this race might be a top 2 decision I've made in 2023.

10/10 recommend putting a race on the calendar.

A few non-obvious benefits I'd like to mention:

Physical Benefits

This might be in my head, but I feel like my posture has significantly improved from of all this running.

I still have lots of room to improve while sitting, but as far as when I'm walking, I do feel a little taller.

I also feel like I've been sleeping better. I've been doing most of my training at night after the kids go to sleep.

So I'm in the gym from 8-9. Then shower and wind down from 9-10. Then sleep soundly from 10-6.

Mental Benefits

Training at night strengthened my resolve.

Most nights, I leave for the gym after Dia already crawled into bed.

The last thing I wanted to do at that moment was to go for a run, but I didn't miss a single session.

There were also a few instances where we had short weeks.

For example, we went to Philly from Saturday - Tuesday. That basically shortened 2 weeks by 2 days. Which meant I had to get my 5 running sessions in on consecutive nights 2 weeks in a row.

Although it always sucked in the moment, consistently overcoming the desire to skip a training session was probably my favorite part of this entire experience.

If I ever find myself avoiding the gym - or just not going as much as I should, I know the solution is as simple as putting a race on the calendar and following a program to help me prepare.

Lifestyle Changes

On March 1st, I decided to start fasting after dinner. This is probably what normal people do anyway, but I have a cereal / dessert addiction that made this difficult to get used to.

After training at night, I found myself undoing most, if not all, of my hard work.

I'd eat two bowls of cereal instead of one. Or maybe I'd throw a couple of cookies in my cereal. "I deserve this", I told myself.

So the new rule was: No food after getting up from the dinner table. And we eat dinner early (~5p) so this wasn't easy.

It took some getting used to, but this style of intermittent fasting had to be another major contributing factor to better sleep.

I plan on continuing this positive constraint after the race as well.

Race Day

The big day is here. Bittersweet.

Dia and I got Strep on Friday. There was a moment when I thought I wasn't going to make the race.

But thankfully, a lot of rest + Amoxicillin + Tylenol whipped me back into shape in no time.