I ran my big 15K race yesterday, and despite beginning to run this year well before it stopped snowing (my hubby finally got me a treadmill for Christmas like I wanted, after 3 years of convincing...he believes I will actually use it now that I have been consitantly running/racing for 3 years straight) and entering 5Ks and the occasional 10K at least once a month since February (try as I might, I couldn't find a January event close enough for me to get to), my time was STILL THE SAME as the last two years!
Two years ago I started running to train for this particular race. I ran consistantly from March (it was a super mild winter!) through the race in July, and ran it in 1:45 and some change. My strategy was simple: increase my weekly milage so the week before the race I was running 8 miles, then hit the 9.3 on race day. Easy peasy. Well....not EASY. But I didn't look up training plans or anything. Speed was not my concern, simply crossing the finish line. And I did. And it was AWESOME! So awesome, infact that I truly believe I will run this race for the rest of my running life. I can't imagine not being at the starting line (or, you know, 10 minutes behind the starting line!!) if it's race weekend.
Last year, I ran it for the second time. The experience was just as awesome, but I had trained more sporadically. I was doing more yoga then (wish I still were...that's a different story) and my schedule was more full, as was my husband's and I just didn't have time to put in the training. I hit the start line anyway, despite my longest run that spring being 5 miles and it was a couple WEEK before race day. Turns out, I hit 1:45 and some change again. Go figure. That said, my recovery sucked, including a migraine once I got home, and not really being able to walk or sit or get up from sitting for a couple days. But timing...SameSame.
So yesterday, I wasn't expecting anything great...but I was thinking I would maybe be in the 1:30s. It was mild, but a little humid. Not my FAVORITE racing weather, but not awful either. Mile one saw me at 11 minutes...What??? I was running harder than that. Must be the other 11,000 people out there. Mile two, another 11 minutes. Oh come on now! Mile 3, Oh, this is the hill...I didn't lose any time here, and got a great boost since I was passing people right and left, and again on the down hill, but seriously another 11 minutes. Then I just got slower. And slower. And slower. I definitely enjoyed the race, looked around, listened to the bands and the crowds....but I just had no get up and go. I started to think I would have a worse time...since on mile 8 I felt like I was moving in slow motion- a lot like that dream where you are running as hard as you can but just not getting anywhere. (hopefully that's not just me). Final results: 1:45 and some change. WTF?!
Not that I'm complaining, because I'm not. I'm super proud I did it! I ran 9.3 miles yesterday. I feel great today. I'm even contemplating skipping my rest day I had planned, since my kids are at day camp starting today. I have time. I feel good. No migraine in sight. No cramping. No soreness (minus the sunburn from sweating off my sunscreen: ouch!). So in that regard, I feel awesome! But I'm kind of bummed that despite training consistantly, I still did the same. I wasn't trying specifically though, and maybe that was the problem. I will have to decide what I want from the race next year, and go with it.
Which leads me to my topic, after the looooong sideline above. I officially begin half-marathon training today. (Yeah, with my rest day. That's how I roll!) I'm trying to be psyched to start training...but honestly, I'm a little bit not into it. I'm not as excited as I think I should be. But also, I'm scared. I'm terrified. My husband is all like "That's just 4 miles more than you ran Sunday." Which doesn't sound that awful, like that...but then I think, "Ugh...at 12 mile minutes that's another 45 minutes of running on tip of the 1:45 I did." Which is what puts me in a funk. And that's only if I can keep up the glacial pace I had yesterday. But begin I will. I'm using the "Finish It" plan from "Train Like a Mother" even though it's a 15 week program, and I only have 12...and that's only if I don't run the local half marathon two weeks before the one I'm registered for...then I have 10.
I have no answers....only questions...but I'm going to dive in anyway, and I'll fill you in along the way. Thanks for reading!