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!