Helpful Training Hint

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:

1 9:57
2 10:28
3 11:39
4 11:32
5 13:00
6 10:52
7 10:13
8 10:55
9 11:22
10 10:42
11 11:01
12 11:30
13 11:13
14 1:37

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16 Responses to Helpful Training Hint

  1. Congrads!! Way to go!

  2. Congrads!! Way to go!

  3. Ihatetoast says:

    The mind is mean.
    Give your heavy legs a well earned bath with salts and a rub. They got you through although they didn’t do as much prep.
    Have you named your legs?

  4. jeanne says:

    yikes, i somehow thought this was NEXT sunday!! it is ridiculous the grief we give ourselves over 4 minutes. I know you wanted to do better but you did DAMN good considering what you’d just been through. c’mon you HAVE to know that, right?!?! cuz that’s what you’d be telling me!

    So i’m saying: Well Done You!!!

  5. Juls says:

    But you DID it. You ran, and you kept running. It’s tough. You DID it.

  6. black knight says:

    Yes you did it despite all the problems and now you can log another half marathon! Congrats.

  7. You did awesome considering you just sorta wung it training-wise!

  8. IronJenny says:

    We in blogland are proud of ANY time you post. It’s YOU we like! I’ll forget your time, like, OK, maybe I already forgot it. But I will remember FOREVER that you are always a good, kind-hearted, fun-loving soul who appreciates the good things in life.
    I think finishing when you feel like crap is a much bigger accomplishment that toolin’ along feeling great and posting a PR. (Although don’t get me wrong, I love when that happens!) But to get to the finish line when it’s just not “in” you is awesome.
    Granted it’s not as much FUN when you feel like crap… So just follow your plan for the next two weeks and it probably won’t happen again. I think there is a fine line between “good taper” and “a little too much taper”.

  9. Phoenix says:

    Woman, you rock. I’m serious. I would’ve quit, crying and whining and my legs still would’ve fallen off. IronJenny is right, finishing when you feel like crap and want to quit is much more of an athletic feat than prancing through the finish line with a PR. The prancer probably doped anyway.

    You did it! And that deserves a – WHOOT, WHOOT!

  10. Lan says:

    Nice job!! The last two miles were the roughest for me. We keep finishing within minutes of each other at these local halfs! I started in Wave 3 about 5 rows in front of the 2:20 pacer and said to myself there’s no way I’m going to let this woman pass me. Within the first quarter mile, she passed by me. Considering I ran a 9:45 for the first mile, she was waaaay off pace. Around mile 9 or 10, I finally passed her. I think she realized she was totally off pace and was trying to make up for time, because she never passed me again.

  11. comm's says:

    First, if I had a dollar for every time I went out too fast in a race after starting undertrained…..

    Second, If I had a dollar for every time I caught up to the pacer I wanted only to be left behind….

  12. comm's says:

    First, if I had a dollar for every time I went out too fast in a race after starting undertrained…..

    Second, If I had a dollar for every time I caught up to the pacer I wanted only to be left behind….

  13. I think you did great! You got out there, you did it. Even if it wasn’t what you wanted, getting out there and doing it can teach you things for the next time – and it sounds like you have collected some data from this. Time well spent.

    Plus – hello? SF Marathon – Beautiful!

  14. waddler26.2 says:

    Great time!!!! And a beautiful race to run.

  15. Michael says:

    Industrial backwaters is right. Most of the course is so pretty or interesting (the park, the bridge, the Marina etc.) but then those miles after Haight street… yuck! Seeing the ballpark is like finding a life boat in the ocean.

    And I always say, there’s no such thing as a bad (half)marathon finish. Nice job.

  16. TriBoomer says:

    WAY. TO. GO!

    Stay tuned…

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