You would think that after running 4 5k races and a half marathon I would have this running thing down. To train for the half I did a 12 week training program to get ready. I ran the 11 mile training run with ease. In fact, I did it with a 9:45 pace, which was good for me for that distance. The day of the half marathon came and my goal was, first and foremost, to finish without walking. In the back of my mind I really had a goal of coming in under a 10 minute mile. My race pace ended up being 10:06/mile. I was a little disappointed, but to be honest, I was so happy to be done. The last 3 miles were hellish. It was hot, the sun was beating down on my face, my legs felt like jello and I took my 2nd energy gel too late and had hit the wall with my stamina. I had completed 13.1 miles but I wanted to do it again...better.
I learned a lot from that first half marathon. I am trying to incorporate everything I learned into my training so I am ready come September 16th when I run my 2nd one. Some of the things I am working on are:
- My running buddy and I did almost all of our long runs on a very flat course. I mean zero change in elevation. When I hit the hills in the half I tried to power through them and wasted a lot of energy. This time around I am making sure every run has some hills to get my body and mind ready.
- The weather is a huge factor. We did most of our training over NE winter and early spring. It was in the 40s and 50s for a majority of our runs. Race day was 75 degrees in full sun! I didn't realize what an impact the weather can have on you. This time around we are training for a late summer/early fall race so all of our training runs are taking place in the dog days of summer. Heat and humidity are tough to run through, but I am hoping it will all make a positive difference when we run in cooler temperatures.
- I need a hat. This sounds stupid, but it makes a world of difference when the sun isn't shining directly on your face! I hate hats and feel like my head would get too hot so I just ordered a running visor. Hopefully it will work for me!
- Cross and strength training is equally as important as the run training! I think that the other workouts I am doing this time around will contribute to my overall strength and fitness and help me run better.
That being said, let me give an update of where I am at in this 10 week fitness challenge. Overall I am down a total of 4 inches and 2.5 pounds. I am happy with the slow and steady progress. I know as you get closer to your goal weight it is harder to lose, so I am going to step up my cross and strength training in the next 5 weeks and see if that gets me over the hump!
Follow all of our progress at Stephanie's Mommy Brain and link up!