Monday, January 20, 2014

Half Marathon Training Tidbits

Now that I am starting my second week of half marathon training, I've come to a few conclusions:
  1. Running 3 days in a row won't kill you.  I have been very nervous about running for consecutive days because my normal m.o. is to alternate running and cross-training.  I'm still a little nervous given that I am so early into my training, but I ran 3 days in a row this weekend and it didn't suck!  
  2. I am not going to focus on weight loss too much until after my half in April.  This doesn't mean that I am going to eat a lot of crap and let myself go, but instead, I am going to make sure I eat better for proper nutrition and fueling during training and race day and worry less about the number on the scale.  I really want to focus on my mileage for the next few months and I know myself well enough to know that doing just that will be enough.  If I obsess over the numbers on the scale and my training, I will overwhelm myself and I'm determined to avoid that. 
  3. I just want to cross the finish line for the half, but the competitive side of me is floating numbers around in my head.  I have no idea how my body will react to 13.1 miles but I would really like to finish in under 3:00.  I really, really, really would like to finish in 2:45 and I think it is possible, with a lot of hard work (and speed work and hill repeats) over the next few months.  I did my 10K in 1:19 and some change so I don't think either one of my goals is too lofty.  In all honesty, though, as long as I cross the finish line, I don't think I will care (much) what my time is. 
  4. Chocolate milk after a run is really amazing!  Chocolate milk, in general, is amazing.  I do not care for pre-made chocolate milk that you can buy at the store.  I find it too chocolate-y (blasphemous, I know).  However, when I recently made it at home with my own proportions of chocolate syrup, it was life-changing.  My oldest son and I can't get enough "homemade" chocolate milk.  I had a glass after my 5 mile run on Saturday and it was the perfect post-run treat. 
  5. It is not a great idea to listen to a podcast about Zombie runs whilst you are running through a wooded trail on a somewhat cloudy afternoon.  I may be a little skittish, but every squirrel that scampered next to me in the woods, every twig snap, and every biker that came from behind me made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  I had to keep repeating to myself Zombies aren't real, Zombies aren't real. I love horror movies, but spend most of the movie with the sound on low and my eyes hidden behind my hands.  Perhaps I should amend the first sentence to read: It is not a great idea to listen to a podcast about Zombie runs if you are a scaredy cat.  End of story. 
  6. I am genuinely excited about this race.  It is going to be a challenge, but as I put in the miles during training, I know I can do this and it is pretty empowering and exciting.  My goal for the next few months is to train smartly, enjoy the ride, and get to the start line injury-free (yesterday's bowling mishap does not count) and happy to take on the challenge. 
I did 4 miles this afternoon (and listened to the Zombie podcast as mentioned above) and it wasn't quite as wonderful as yesterday's run, but it wasn't awful either.  Time seemed to be dragging and I thought for a bit that MapMyRun had stopped, but I guess I was just too focused on time and didn't really let go and enjoy the run.  

My pace was slower than yesterday, but I am learning that this could be the normal pace for me on a longer run.  I did 4.01 miles in 53:16 with an average pace of 13:17.  My splits were:  13:29, 13:05, 13:31, and 12:46. 

Have you ever done a Zombie run before?  Would you recommend it to others? 

"Whether a mile or a marathon, you get there the same way...a step at a time. Such is life."