Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Training Cycle Complete

Well this week I completed my training cycle for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon this Saturday. I used the Hal Higdon Novice 2 plan this time around.  I really liked the plan because I had heavier mileage on the weekend (when I'm not working) and shorter runs during the week (when I did have to work).  I didn't miss a single training run this entire cycle.  It certainly helped that we have had such a mild winter here in Utah this year. 

This past weekend I peaked with my 12 mile long run.  It was the longest I've ever run on a training run.  I felt amazing until about mile 9.  And then those last 3 miles I was miserable.  Both of my knees were killing me and I was just physically done.  It was really strange and honestly freaked me out a ton.  I had done long runs where I could pull out a 9ish minute mile the last mile only weeks before.  But on Sunday I was running 12 minute miles the whole time and I had nothing left those last three miles.  It was all I could do just to put one foot in front of the other.  I would be lying if I didn't say it shook my confidence big time.  I'm a big believer in sticking to a training plan and you will be successful. 

Here are a full family of deer we saw right in the middle of our run.  Beautiful!

I tried to figure out what I had done differently that led to a bad run.  I had hydrated well the day before. I hadn't had a "bad" dinner (I've made that mistake before).  I was wearing my calf compression sleeves for my run and I haven't been wearing them, but that shouldn't cause my knees to feel so awful.  I've run long runs before wearing them.  I ran an extra day during the week that week, perhaps that had a negative affect.  I mean maybe my legs were just plain tired.  That's possible I suppose. 

So I adjusted my schedule this week.  I had originally planned to run 3 miles on Tuesday, 2 miles on Wednesday and then rest two days.  Instead I ran my 3 miles on Monday, 2 miles on Tuesday and picked up an extra rest day before the race. I hope the extra rest helps. 

I'm also a little worried about my pacing strategy going into Saturday and I guess I'm still a little undecided.  My first half marathon I finished in 2:45.  I knew I could have ran it faster.  At the end I really wasn't spent the way I felt I should have felt.  So I know I will PR this weekend, it's almost a given unless something tragic happens.  My goal I feel comfortable that I could push myself decently and still accomplish is 2:20.  My pie in the sky goal is a 2:15.  When running my pace runs on my training plan I ran them usually between 9:30 and 10 minute miles.  Based on that I should be able to run a 2:10 race.  But I just don't know that I can hold that kind of pace for 13.1 miles.  I feel like that's way too aggressive.  But could I maintain a 10:18 pace the whole time?  That should shoot me in at 2:15 and I think it's "possible".  It's a slightly downhill course, with a moderate hill from mile 11-12.  I don't want to bonk at that hill.  They have pace groups too, 2:20 and 2:10, but not 2:15!


See my dilemma?  I also had one training run where I went out way too fast and I had to walk just to get my heart rate down.  I don't want that to happen on Saturday either.

My sister in law has lofty goals for a 2:10 and by brother is running with her.  Do I try and keep up with them some?  My brother was a great rabbit for me when I ran my PR 5K back in November.  Do I use him again? 


I have trained in rain and snow this time too.  Evidence here:

However this Saturday lookie what we have: 


I'm thinking the 7am start will not be the usual chilly we've started with most Sunday's.  So that's good. But with a 79 degree high that day I bet by 7am we could be close to 50's.  And that is perfect running weather to me.

I guess the only thing I know for sure is what I will be wearing:

Lululemon Race Back Tank (matching my sister in law)
Running Skirts Sparkle Heart Skirt (matching my BFF)

They don't actually match that great .. but I will match my two ladies and that means more to me anyway.  At least I know what I'm wearing right?

I'm really excited that this will be my husbands first half marathon.  And we will be running it together, unless of course he leaves me behind like he did the last long run we did together.  It was actually kind of funny.  He came with my run buddy and I.  We all started together.  We joked about how it was like having our own bodyguard.  Then when I was dealing with some Garmin issues he pulled ahead.  But he doesn't have a Garmin and he hadn't started his Runkeeper app on his iPhone.  So I kept wondering how the heck he would know when to fuel and when to turn around.  Well he didn't.  After about 4 miles Rebecca dropped back and so the three of us were very spread out on the trail.  I started closing the gap on him and once he saw me coming he sped up some more.  At which point I was like, whatever.  As we hit the hill and also hit the turn around point I called his name (he listens to his music really loud) and he didn't hear me.  So I turned around to find a guy coming up close behind me.  He laughed and said, "he missed the turn around didn't he?"  YEP!  It was funny.

I digress .. hopefully he doesn't pull ahead on Saturday and leave me in his dust.  haha.

Well there you have it.  I've dropped off the face of the blogging world for over a month and here we are. 


Does anyone have any advice .. suggestions  .. experience they can offer me with regards to my pacing debacle?  I would really appreciate any help.  I've got to figure this thing out and soon.


  1. I'd suggest starting out with the 2:20 for the first 2 miles and then assess how you feel. Maybe step it up a little if you're feeling awesome :)

  2. I agree. Pick a conservative pace to start and assess the situation after the first 2 miles. Good luck!!! Have a great race!!

    Lots of bloggers doing this one it seems.

  3. No advice on pacing - have a great race and just listen to your body.


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