A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Half Marathon Training: An UNOFFICIAL PR!

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I like to cut to the chase and keep it real on here. I readily admit my defeats and celebrate my victories. After my horrible performance at the Dover 10 Miler two weeks ago, I needed a strong run so I could gain my confidence back. Had my training peaked? Had I improved as much as I could and now it was time for the wheels to fall off? These are the questions I asked myself as I headed out for my warm up miles on Saturday morning. My workout was to be 10 miles at half marathon goal pace- <7:20.

The "cut to the chase, keep it real" story is that I ROCKED IT!!!! I set a new unofficial half marathon PR for myself: 1:35:57. Full disclosure: I stopped my Garmin when I took a quick pee and for about 20 seconds to answer my phone. (I had to make sure it wasn't Paul!)

I ran 2 warm up miles around my block. The first was an 8:09 and the second a 7:50. I ran inside my house and peed quickly and then BOOM out the carport I sprang. I had two 5 mile loops mapped out around my neighborhood. My hood is flat- this was not a hilly run. I didn't take water with me, which was stupid because even though I didn't feel thirsty, my pee was yellow when I was done. For the first couple miles, it was hard to stay a consistent pace, but I finally got in a rhythm where I could feel myself running at about a 7:15. After about mile 4, I stopped looking at my Garmin because I had been able to regulate my pace to something somewhat consistent.

After the first 5 mile loop, I felt a bit tired for the next half mile, but then I got some pep in my step and got back to the rhythm I had going. My IT band felt a little weak, and I knew it was going to ache the rest of the day. Oh well, I was just going to have to stretch, foam roll, and deal with it the best I could. As long as it didn't start to feel worse, I wasn't going to worry about it. (It didn't start to feel worse but it did ache later on in the day!)

Mid way through my second 5 mile loop, I started to feel very confident that I would reach my goal. My Garmin consistently showed about a 7:15 average pace. I was not running at a pace in which I would have been able to carry on a conversation, but my breathing was completing regulated and I had my shit together. This was NOTHING compared to that horrible hilly 10 miler in Dover. I didn't even feel like the same runner! Those hills will kill ya if you're not prepared... and I was not prepared for them!

Around mile 9.3, I started doing math in my head, and I realized that if I maintained my 7:15 pace for an extra 1.1 mile, I would hit an unofficial half marathon PR! Of course I had to go for it, especially because I still felt pretty good. My last two miles clocked in at 7:01 and 7:02, which definitely helped count balance those warm up miles!

Victory!
Now I don't have to go to Florida, right? Haha! 

Splits: 7:20, 7:15, 7:14, 7:18, 7:14, 7:17, 7:12, 7:17, 7:13, 7:01, 7:02

I recovered with a an hour of stretching and foam rolling (broken into 2 sessions), plus hours and hours of "pajama laying" (that is when you lay around in your pajamas). Once my stomach could handle it, I refueled with a tall glass of milk plus a full scoop of protein powder.


Boy do I look like my big brother in this picture!

What's next in my training, I don't know! I have to reevaluate what I have scheduled. The race is three weeks from today. Maybe next weekend I will do another long run with maybe just 7 miles at race pace and then start tapering. I am going to have to decide. But I would like to do 13.1 next weekend and have it be my last long run. But I wonder if I should do any miles at pace? What do you guys think?
Do you have any unofficial PRs?
What do you think I should do with my long run next weekend?

19 comments:

  1. AWESOME! Next week I would do the last 4 miles at race pace, keep the others comfortably hard (maybe 7:50's). Have you tried a more supportive sneaker to help with your ITB?
    Way to rock the work out! Proud of you!

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    1. Thank you for the training tip! I couldn't wait to hear what you all said about it! :)

      I have been wearing Mizuno Wave Riders for years and have not yet sought out different sneakers.

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  2. I am so not the person to be giving out any training advice but I will say GREAT JOB and I am proud of you! I guess my unofficial 5K PR would be the only race I have done when I was 11. I ran the 5K in just under 30 minutes and I know I could not run that now (I guess I have always just been a slow runner). Your times are crazy fast!

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    1. Wow I would love to see a pic of 11 year old Susan running a 5k! :)

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  3. Woohoo!!! I'm so excited about what this means for you during BDR!!

    Do you plan to do ~2 warmup miles on race day? I run better after I warm up, too, but I'm not sure I want to warm up too much before a full haha.

    I like to do 13.1 before a half to help me mentally, but I try to keep it at a pretty easy pace, especially if my IT band or knees have been achey at all...If I keep it REALLY easy, I may try to add a fast finish at the end.

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    1. I do not think I will do two "official" warm up miles... maybe I will just go in with the understanding that it is okay if it takes a mile or two to get into my pace groove since my body seems to enjoy a negative split, it should be okay. But who knows, with the weather it may be tough for me to do as well. That's the mystery of race day... it could throw ANYTHING our way!

      Thanks for that tip for my last long run. Yes my IT band was ACHY after yesterday but today it is no worse for wear. We even drove to Baltimore and normally it hurts in the car but not today. In fact I am not sore at all! (knock on wood. It seems like whenever I get too excited about my body not hurting, it starts to hurt! But IT band def ached yesterday.

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  4. BAM!!!!!!!!! Those are some speedy splits! You have entered into my dream territory. My half PR is 1:37:47 or 1:37:57 (I can't even be sure...lol). You are strong and fast and you weren't even racing!!! Huge Congrats!

    I ran with a friend this morning who is insanely fast and we were talking about how we have run races where we've overtrained or just not tapered properly and logged some seriously fast miles too close to the race. I don't know if I'd go too crazy next weekend, but you know your body best. :)

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    1. I think for me it is easier to do a training run than a race- races make me soooo nervous! It's easier when I'm just around my neighborhood and there is no pressure.

      Thank you for that tip about my training run next week! I am going to keep that in mind. It's hard, and I know you know what I'm talking about, when I say I feel like if I don't "keep up" with the fast paces, I will lose it. You will need to talk some sense into me.

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  5. Wow, way to go Meg!!! If you can do this in a non-race environment, just imagine what you will do in three weeks! I have no unofficial PRs. I always save my best efforts for the race environment... or I should say that the race environment brings out my best speed and competitiveness. That's great that you were feeling good and finished strong.

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    1. Thanks Kristen! :) Hopefully the race environment will bring out a little something more! If I have it in me, that is! It is going to be hot down there. I'm in PA and the race is in FL.

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  6. Great job! I think you're going to crush your half. I agree with everyone else, save your best for the race. I'd maybe do 12 next week. Don't push it.

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    1. That may be a good idea! 12 w/ the last 3-4 at pace or something... Thanks for the tip!

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  7. INCREDIBLE!!!!! WAY TO GO!!!! I can't believe the race is only three weeks away now. I can't wait to see you and Ali! :D :D :D :D

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  8. GREAT job!!! That is so awesome! It does not happen to me often, but I love when I PR during a training run. It's such a huge confidence booster because it tells you that you don't need the adrenaline from a race to push at that pace! You are so speedy!

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    1. It doesn't happen to me often either! But it is a good indication that it is time to RACE. I was actually thinking about you when I was reviewing my paces. I thought, "Alison can hold these paces for a FULL!"

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  9. I love this :) I would do any heavy lifting you want this week and then let it rest!
    I am not sure about the long run, maybe 10 miles. NO reason to kill yourself now, you have nailed it :)
    and yes of course you have to go FL...you still have to meet Kristina :)
    I have a few unofficial Pr's and it drives me crazy when I can't back it race day lol I nailed this last race though! I think it was PR for every distance!

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    1. I would NOT do any heavy lifting...typos yet again...

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    2. You did SO WELL at your race, Karen! I am so proud of you. :)

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