Thursday, March 28, 2013

half marathon 2013 training update

Although I haven't been strict about sticking to my training schedule, I'd say this round of training has been the smoothest and most successful of all my half marathon trainings.  Here's why:

1.  I feel like I'm past the "I can do it" phase.  I know I can do it.  But I want to be better.  I'm pushing myself more this time around and it's proven to be really exciting that way.
2.  Cross training.  Who knew that if you actually did a little cross training it'd make for more successful runs?  I can tell my legs are stronger when I spend time each week doing a little Slim in 6 by Debbie Siebers (my cross training preference).
3.  My life is much more conducive to training this time around.  First time, I was doing suck-the-life-out-of-me job.  (AKA teaching 6A high school choir.  The kids were fun.  The job was c-r-a-z-y.)  Second time, I was pregnant while doing suck-the-life-out-of-me job and had a minor injury that caused me to forgo the race.  Third time, I was 2 months postpartum when I started training.  Breastfeeding, schedules, naps, piano lessons, life - running could barely fit in the routine.  Now, the fourth time, it's so much easier.  I'm not doing suck-the-life-out-of-me job, I'm not pregnant, I'm not postpartum, and I'm not breastfeeding.  It's a good feeling.

The most I've run at this point is 9.5 miles and I did that this past Saturday.  Here's the deal, guys.  I am not a natural athlete (as I mentioned in this post).  So when I say this next thing, know that it's not coming from an experienced runner who averages 7 minute miles.

My 9.5 mile run was amazing.

I was determined to run negative splits.  (Quick definition:  running the second half faster than the first half.)  So because I'm not a fast runner when it comes to long distances, this means I had to start slow.

I ran the first 4 miles in 47:30, which was pretty much a 12 minute mile pace.  Like I said, slow.  After 4 miles, I bumped it up a bit.  I ran the next 4 miles 5 minutes faster than the first 4.  It was happening!  After 6 miles, I felt like I was flying.  And I know it's because I had saved up my energy.  The average pace of my last few miles was about a 10:45 minute mile.

Slow and steady really does win the race.  I wanted to run negative splits because I wanted to see if it really was all it was cracked up to be.  Would I really be extra energized at the end?  Would I really be able to run faster?  Yes!  I finished 9.5 miles in 1:46:52. (Just for funnies, I looked back at how long it took me to run 9.5 miles the first time I ever trained in 2010.  It took 2 hours.  So I'm pleased with that improvement!)

I'm totally a believer and hopefully, I'll be able to continue this trend throughout the rest of my training and on race day.

With only a few weeks left, my plan is to do a 10 mile run and then possibly an 11 mile run.  After that, I'll start chilling out to prepare for the race.

I ran the 2010 half in 2:37:38 and the 2012 half in 2:36:48.  I'd love to have a little more than a 50 second difference between this upcoming half and my last one.  My goal is to finish in 2:25.  I realize that's chopping off a good chunk of time, (which is maybe unrealistic) but I'm going for it!


  1. you go, girl! glad you had a good run! I definitely agree that it's awesome to slow it down the first half and then kill it on the second half. it's so much better to pass people when they're all tired and you're like, "see ya!" your half will be great!

    1. haha this is true. i'm excited to see how it helps my race!


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