Training Tuesday and a Looming Half Marathon

All of the sudden we only have 19 days until our next half marathon.  I’m super motivated….now.

Last week I did only a few shorter treadmill runs in between sugar gorging and Christmas Cheering (not nearly enough mileage), so needless to say yesterday’s 11 mile run has left my poor muscles in a state of disarray. Despite the pain, yesterday (the first time I’ve run more than 8 miles at a time since the U.S. Half almost 2 months ago) felt pretty good, and I kept a pretty consistent 9 minute mile pace which isn’t completely unpromising (I typically run more than a full minute faster per mile during races than I do in training). 

I also tried out GU for the first time ever yesterday.  I had been kind of resistant to gels because I was doing fine without them.  I felt great during the Duke City Half and I had a ton of energy the whole race, so I didn’t think I would ever need to rely on a gel supplement  to keep me going.  But by the end of the U.S. Half, I was so tuckered out at mile 12, I couldn’t recover from a very small hill put in my way.  I don’t want the same thing to happen at Rock n Roll Arizona, and judging by the course elevation map, I have another little hill at the very end overcome after running uphill for the first 9.5 miles.

So yesterday, I took some (ate some?) GU right before heading out on our run. For some reason I was expecting it to make me violently ill, but it didn’t.   I didn’t finish the run with a super hero amount of energy, but I didn’t ever feel drained or tired.  Plus, the stuff tastes really really good!   I plan on eating some even when I don’t have a run to go on.

So now, the next (less than) 3 weeks will be devoted to a completely clean diet + wine (except for New Year’s Eve weekend because…yeah right), lots of speed training, losing the Holiday chub to shave off precious seconds, and hot yoga to keep my muscles limber and ready to go.  And staying healthy.  I think everyone decided to get sick and then share their cups to get everyone else sick this past week. 

I know my recent training habits don’t suggest it, but I want this race to go really well.  I KNOW somewhere way deep in there I have it in me to finish in 1:40, but I’m afraid that I haven’t been trying hard enough the past month and a half and it might be too late to improve my speed.  Turns out I haven’t outgrown procrastination.

Meanwhile, in between lamenting over my holiday laziness, I’m also looking back at the progress I’ve made over the past year.  Last December, I hadn’t ever run more than 6 miles at a time, and I had only participated in 1 race.  PR strictly meant Public Relations, I didn’t understand why having a Garmin was a big deal, and just the thought of running 13.1 miles made my feet hurt.

Now, a year later, I have 6 races under my belt including 2 half marathons. 

Will Run for Beer 5-K in April

Run for the Zoo 10-K in May

Das Hustlehoff 5-K in September

Duke City Half Marathon in October

U.S. Half Marathon in November

I’m no longer intimidated by 13.1 miles.  I worry about things like PR times (not to be confused with Public Relations times…if that made any sense…) and corral placement.  Good running shoes have taken on a whole new priority as has not wearing cotton shirts.  I’ve been splurging on athletic apparel more than on clothes that I wear when I’m showered. Target jeans? No problem.  Target running shorts? No thank you.  And GU.  I really like it.

So, here’s to the year that I became a runner.  Even if I don’t reach my goals in Arizona, at least I’ll be way ahead of where I was 1 year ago.

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