Tuesday, April 1, 2014


My initial plan going in to this racing season was to get back to where I was before grad school started. For some reason, I thought that would take just a few short months (yes, I'm now realizing how outrageous this is) as after perusing my 2014 goals I see half marathon PR and 10k PR on tap for this spring. As in 4-5 weeks from today.

I was hoping/planning/trying for a close to 2 hour finish at the NYC half so that a ~1:55 goal time for my spring goal races would seem plausible. And that 1:55 half time would give me the green light to sign up for a fall half, because somewhere around hour 4 1/2 of the Madison Marathon I vowed to never run a marathon unless I was 1000% sure I'd be breaking 4 hours. Running 11 minute miles for 26.2 miles is not something my body was meant to do. Ouch. My form falls apart when I run at that pace.

So clearly after last weekend's half performance I'm seriously doubting everything about this fall. In analyzing the race, I think the sort of shape I was in for a half would be slightly sub 2:10, and due to some execution errors and tourist tendencies, I was obviously slower than that. Regardless 2:10+2:10+:xx minutes= way more than sub 4.

Obviously there's a lot of time between now and October (a solid six months) but marathon training would start around June, and typically speedy runs end up taking a back seat to straight endurance mileage for a marathon training program (hence my ever slowing marathon times).

So do I suck it up and still sign up and try my damndest to still get faster (without breaking, which is always the trick with my body) and sign up for the full?

Or do I spend the summer working on 5ks and 10ks and shoot for a speedy fall half instead?

Keeping in mind that I've somewhat vowed to never run a spring full again, so I'd have to wait until Fall 2015 for another 26.2. Gah.

This is why I vowed to never stop running when I got back in to distance running in 2009 (aka the last time I came back from barely running).




Renee said...

I know the feeling all too well. If it makes you feel any better I ran a half last fall in 2:06, was pissed about my time. I had no business running a half then. Four or five weeks later I was able to drop 10 minutes once I had done more training. Give it time. I know you can run a fast half.

Rinnie04 said...

Ok, so you have 6 months until Madison. That is 6 months to work on your speed AND endurance! I have faith in you that you will get faster and that sub-4 will be yours!!!

You are worrying about not getting faster but you have to think are you putting in the work to get faster? Speed work outs are the best way to get you there! The speed workouts during your marathon training aren't there for you to contemplate and then scoff at. They are there for a reason, to make you faster over a long sustained effort. I would consider starting them before you even start your marathon training in June. You need to get your butt out the door to do a weekly speed workout session (with a group is helpful but it looks like the running club in your town doesn't offer that). I cannot tell you how much faster I've gotten regarding my overall speed because I am diligent about getting my track workouts done. They will hurt and they are not fun but it's about putting in the work to see the payoff in your race times! I don't know anyone who doesn't finish a hard speed work session and say "Boy THAT was fun let's do that again!" I absolutely dread Tuesday nights because I know that the workout will hurt but the sense of satisfaction I get when I hit most of my splits outweighs the dread and the hurt. The speed will come and you will be faster in ALL of the distances no just one or the other. It's not like you aren't fast...you totally are!

Once you have the speed covered then throw in the tempos & long runs because these are important too.

It might not be a bad idea to maybe look around for a running coach for this training cycle because you have this tendency to become broken after a certain point in mileage. They could possibly work with you on your running mechanics and help you get to the starting line healthy and to the finish line faster! I have one and it's the best money I spend every month. I've ran almost 5 marathons under her tutelage and I've knocked off over 30 minutes on my full time and 20 minutes on my half.

But whatever you decide it comes down to you doing it for you! You don't run marathons, half-marathons, 10K or 5Ks for anyone else! It's all about what is going to make YOU happy! Plus I like reading about a happy JerBear!