Half Marathon Training Update

>> Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I have less than two weeks till the half marathon, and I've begun a slight taper so my legs will be fresh on race day.

M: 12 miles long // didn't take watch
T: 3 miles easy recovery
W: 4 sets squats + 1 hour yoga at gym
R: Rest
F: 4 miles, first 3 @ 7:30/mile sustained + cool down at 8:30
S: 6.35 miles -- Run for Boston
S: Rest, home alone during Stephen's 77.7 mile relay race

I've pushed my long runs to Mondays for a variety of reasons. What's not on this chart is my last real long run that I completed yesterday: 13.1 miles in 1:50:00, 8:23/mile. Phew. I'm glad that's over. Thankfully the distance/my endurance is coming back, and I'm feeling much less worried about upping my mileage for my fall marathon (Wineglass).

Overall, I'd say my training this cycle has been relatively consistent and strong. Just to help recap, here's a look again at my plan, which I didn't follow exactly . . . but was pretty close:

Cross-training, specifically swimming, was going to be a new focus for me this time around. What I didn't anticipate is that our gym would be working on our pool for several weeks, so I've been unable to log those yards, ultimately taking an extra rest day. I'm not thrilled because swimming has really helped with my cardiovascular training, but I'll survive.

I have done at least one good 1-hour session of yoga each week, whether it was at the gym or at home. Between the stretching/strengthening and running 4 days a week versus 5, I'm feeling much less injury-prone. It's also helped with our family/life balance -- it's hard when both parents are training, but somehow we're making it work.

Last, I've been impressed with how I've actually completed the hard pace workouts and have even pushed the times I outlined in this plan. I have stuck with it, which I'm hoping gains me some results -- as in a sub 1:45:00 finish.


And at the same time, knowing that I have tried + devoted such energy to my training is mentally psyching me out. I usually put in a good effort, but either can't quantify it (don't wear a watch or time myself) and/or don't stick to those key workouts. Then I have a convenient excuse on race day if things don't go as planned.

Honestly, I've poured my heart into this training. If my time is stagnant or even slower, I'll be crushed and somewhat disheartened. Frustrated. And maybe even angry. I feel like by now I should be able to accomplish my goal. I guess we'll wait + see.

There's safety in not trying, right? It's been my method for most races. I'll put in the miles, but -- ultimately -- it's a gamble race day if I PR or not. It's worked for me. I've gained faster race times at a lot of events and, at others, had a safety net for my ego.

And maybe mentally this method helps because race morning when everyone is lining up and nervously chattering before the gun goes off, I can say "well, I didn't really TRY, so we'll see how I do." It takes the pressure off somehow.

Do any of the rest of you share in my experience?

Do you train really hard and gun it for your personal bests? Or, like me, do you like to just see what happens?

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