10 weeks to race day

Ten weeks from yesterday, that is! Training has gotten off to a good start! I got my new shoes a couple weeks ago. That has made SO much difference! I realized in the last couple weeks too that if I want to run faster, I need to make myself do it. I had a stretch of a couple weeks where I was kind of annoyed by my average pace, in the 12:45 range. Suddenly on a run I pushed myself harder and improved my pace just like that! I remember from last year I got stuck on the thought of “don’t push too hard,” to the point I wasn’t really pushing myself at all. So with that thought in mind, last week I decided to use a real training plan for the first time ever! I browsed and found a couple plans to break 2:30. I’ve broken 2:30 several times, my half marathon PR is 2:21. But its been a few years… 2011 to be exact, October. I came close in the Green Bay half in 2012, would have probably come close to a PR in that race if it hadn’t been so hot.

Anyway, I ended picking the one from Runkeeper, which is the app I’m using for run tracking now since I don’t have a Garmin. It’s actually a 16-week program, but part of the reason I picked it was because last week was exactly where I was as I’d been planning to run 10. The other cool thing, I’ve done a few of the workouts and it tells me what to do, so I don’t need to remember! The plan indicates paces of course… and I don’t run the pace it tells me to right now, the “steady” pace is in the 11:30 range. But I know I’ll get there!

Yesterday I ran my first 10-miler. It was HARD. Well, it was going pretty well really until after about mile 8. Then it started getting hard. I was holding on during mile 9. Then I was just worn out in mile 10… I ended up walking a lot, but at least held onto about a 2-minute running and less than a minute walking. But it sucked, hard. I spent much of that mile cursing to myself, not kidding. I hadn’t run long in three weeks though, so I think it was just a bit of a shock. And I definitely need to tweak my race nutrition. I was aiming to have my energy chews ever 4.5 miles, which was about an hour. But my body was already feeling worn out long before I took the first set. I think I need to have the chews closer to every 3.5-4 miles. The more I’ve thought about it, I’ve remembered that’s how I’ve done it in the past.

The good thing is its still 10 weeks to race day, so I have plenty of time to get ready. The good thing about my training plan is it takes the long run up to 14, and I do that twice. So getting my endurance up to 14 miles should make race day a lot better ending than mile 10 yesterday!

Part of the reason behind my decision to follow a plan… I realized that my last three half marathons have been disappointing. May 2012 in Green Bay was the heat. October 2012 was 20 weeks pregnant… that really was a good race for what it was, but of course not my potential. Next half was August 2014, my first and only since Peyton’s birth, and I completely lost it in the heat to turn for my worst half marathon time ever. So I feel like I really need this one. I was pretty burned out after last year’s race. It took almost a year to get the motivation back to run another half. So I’m trying not to build this race up too much… but getting a result that makes me happy is definitely at the top of my list of expectations! That is along with the desire to not need the medical tent at the finish line… I’ve had the pleasure of resting there in October 2012 and August 2014, though not in the heat of Green Bay in 2012 (though remembering how sick I felt afterward, I have wondered if I should have!)

So the numbers… 70.6 miles in August. That’s my highest month for the year, by 14. That’s including taking almost a week off when I was waiting for my new shoes to come! My highest mileage week of the year was last wee with 22.6. I expect I will log a 100-mile month before the race. Not sure if it will be in September, but I’m guessing I will in October for sure. My mileage for the year is up to 330.3. I’ll be interested to see how this year ends up comparing to the last few years when I’ve set mileage goals for the year. Right now I think I’m behind where I was last year, by this time last year I’d run my half and then lost motivation. I’m excited to see what happens next!

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