Today was my last long run before the Rockin’ Harbins Park Half Marathon on April 21.
12 miles, you guys. It was slow and it wasn’t easy, but it was still 12 miles. I’m proud. The only thing I’m not so proud of is the fact that I have not trained like I should have been training for this race. I set out today a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goal distance. It’s the furthest I’ve ever run (until I run further) and with all my recent travel I haven’t gotten in all the training runs I had planned and marked in my calendar so diligently. The last time I ran a long-ish distance was March 2, and that was only 8 miles. So, I reached my goal distance, and I feel pretty damn good about that. The vast majority of the run was super fun, in fact. The weather was just gorgeous. Hello spring! I hydrated well before leaving and my stomach felt good, even after eating a gel about halfway through. I also love running down Milledge on a Saturday morning. The sorority/fraternity houses look so comically trashed and there is always some hangover victim sitting on a front porch with their face in their hands. It almost makes up for the nasty smell of spilled alcohol on the sidewalk.
Towards the end, my calf started bugging me. I stopped to stretch and then my hip/arse started bugging me. So that’s how it’s going to be, hmm? By then it was about noon and I was getting seriously thirsty too. There are no water stations in real life, you guys. Anyway, I finished, and limped into my apartment where I have spent the rest of the day alternating between icing my hip/arse , eating, and sleeping . #fitness
The half marathon will take place about 45 minutes from my house, so I’m now thinking about what that means for me and my hip/arse. I’m considering bringing an ice pack, just in case. I’m also thinking it will probably be all melty by the time I finish running, but what are you going to do? Thoughts? Tips from runners far more accomplished than me?
I’ve been thinking a lot about training lately. I’ve been contemplating what I do when I run, how I do it, and why. When I started running in September 2012, I was just running for the hell of it and trying not to die. I’ve progressed to trying to make goals for myself, and that means choosing a training plan. I wanted to write you all a big, fancy blog post on the conclusions I had come to about what my training program would be, but, to be honest with you, WordPress, I don’t really have a lot of answers yet.
This idea of “training” instead of just “running” all started with my crazy OCD running goals for 2013. My goal is to run in basically every variety of road race known to man (marathon distance and below) before the year is over. That goal may seem like it was chosen at random or just for the sake of being extreme… which is kind of true (go hard or go home!), but here’s where it really all came from: I want to run a marathon. I’m really afraid of trying to run a marathon or even saying out loud that I want to run a marathon. Apparently, I’m not that afraid of blogging about it, but blogging isn’t talking to people directly and blogging also isn’t running 26.2 miles. I digress…
So, I thought that if I started with small races and worked my way up, eventually a marathon wouldn’t seem so scary.
Anyway, long story short, I am slowly realizing that the important part of getting ready for a marathon is the daily training in non-racing contexts, not the smaller races. As long as I know something about how races work, the hard part is going to be running for 26.2 miles, not the “race” aspect. That’s when I really started focusing my research on training, and I started asking around regarding how people train.
There’s Hal Higdon. A LOT of people really like this plan, and I’d say it’s one of the most popular training plans online. The advantage of this plan is how it drops back every month or so for a slower recovery week.
My academic advisor talked to me about her plan in which she ups her mileage on long runs every other week, and on the off weeks, runs 90 minutes or 9 miles. She also recommended that I start from a base of at least 21 miles per week. She does three 7-mile runs a week, and one of those is longer during training.
Another faculty member/crazy-fast runner told me about the Furman FIRST running plan, so I went to take a look. Dude man is not messing around. That plan scares me so bad. I have thought about giving track workouts a try, but I’m slow, and track runners are SO FAST.
I started thinking about the prospects of running on a track once a week and it just sounds kind of awful to me. Long miles on the road allow me to channel a day’s worth of stress and I love how it makes me feel. Would running on a track be the same? I kind of doubt it.
So, anyway, the current plan is to go for a half marathon in March, April, or May. I have no training plan for that half marathon, other than the fact that I’m working up to running at least seven miles three times a week instead of the more frequent, shorter runs I had been doing. Is anyone running a half around that time? Do you know of any half marathons that you would recommend?
What is your training philosophy? Does anyone have any words of wisdom they’d care to share?
I’m trying to figure out my 2013 race schedule and it’s really freaking hard, you guys. Race Tetris, level 2013. So many races, so many scheduling conflicts, so much confusion…
Here’s the thing. I’d like to compete in the following events in 2013:
- 5K (Completed on New Year’s Day, but I want to do another one)
- 8K (Charlotte Turkey Trot 2: Judgment Day)
- 15K (or a 5K & a 10K in the same day, because 15’s are hard to come by)
- Half marathon
I am willing to travel a little for a half or a full marathon, because they aren’t as easy to come by. I am not, however, willing to get a hotel room for a 10K or 15K, unless that’s my destination race with a friend, in which case…
Another challenge? I’m likely going to be doing field work during the summer months, taking me out of the country and out of running for at least 8 weeks, maybe more. Once I return, I suppose I’ll have to get back into running shape again before I could even think about a marathon or a half. I am not sure, but I imagine that running shape and field work shape are two entirely different things. Right now I’m thinking I’d like to try to do the half marathon before summer, and do the marathon in the fall/winter or even early January 2014 (Disney Marathon or Mississippi Blues Marathon, anyone?). That means I seriously have to start training for a half soon. Scary.