Today’s helpful training hint is this: If your weekly running has averaged 3 – 6 miles per week and you are doing a half marathon on Sunday, do not run 9 hard miles the Monday before. And if you can avoid it, don’t do a triathlon event the Saturday prior, either – even if it is a sprint distance.
I ran the SF half Marathon yesterday and it was not pretty. I was fine going out and even tried not to run too fast once I remembered that (okay my first mile was 9:54 but then I slowed WAY down). I did fine all through Golden Gate park, over the various hills and along the paths. I was okay coming out of the park and running through the Haight. My goal was 2:15 and at one point I caught up with the 2:20 pacer but then it seemed like we were going too fast so I fell off. I had a cramp in my side. I kept running. I watched as her pace balloons got further and further away. I walked the water stations. My legs got heavier and heavier and my knees started to hurt. I cursed my decision to wear my Sauconys even though they only had 300 miles on them.
I kept running through the ugly industrial backwaters of San Francisco just waiting and waiting for the Ball Park to show up in the distance. I know that when I see the Ball Park I’m almost done. And there it was! And then we had to veer right – drat! I kept running but now my legs were hurting like I had run a whole marathon, not a half.
I finished. I was in pain. The clock said 2:32 when I crossed but I knew I’d had a 5 minute delay to start (wave 2). Garmin said 2:26:07 but I had left it on auto pause and there had been a porta potty break in there. I was happy to be done but not happy with how I had done or how I felt.
The mind is a powerful thing. After I got home and showered and was about to take a nap I checked the official times. 2:22! Wahoo! That made no sense to me but I was elated. I wondered if the timing system had had a problem and they corrected it (yeah, sure). When I woke up I checked again – was I dreaming? Well no but then again my time no longer said 2:22 which I KNEW was wrong. It now said 2:28.42 which seemed exactly right. So then I was sad. Isn’t that absurd? Same race, same me, different number and it impacted how I felt.
Today my legs are so sore – more sore than they have been in ages. My knees are recovering so I’m pretty sure it was the shoes which are now retired. I have a new pair of Asiics to break in. I am delighted that I could go out and run 13.1 miles on nearly no training at all but I don’t recommend it. I also don’t recommend putting together some crazy, hodge podge season that has you jumping from one kind of event to another.
Next up is an Olympic distance triathlon – on August 12. I MUST work on my bike skills but I MUST NOT burn out my legs in the week before the race. That means I need to recover and train and then taper over the next 13 days and then race on the 14th day. Terrific. Good thing I did so poorly at Wildflower and that I have scheduled SOMA because this one will be a PR but will not be the Oly to end all Olys for me this year.
Sept 19th I have my “A” race which, as I mentioned once before, got much “A”-er but you’ll have to wait for the next post to find out what that means.
Splits for my half marathon: