Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Half-Marathon Training, Frustrations and Inspirations

Setbacks in the last several weeks in my training for the half-marathon, have had me a little under the weather, literally. It all started with a very unassuming sore-throat and then melted into a full blown cold/flu. This is a problem because it started on a Friday and my long run was the next morning. Since my training began in 5 months ago this is the third week I have taken off due to illness or injury. My worst training record yet.....

While this is frustrating, I have learned to listen to my body. Whereas 10 years ago I would have pushed through pain or illness and ran my scheduled mileage, but I have learned that with age comes wisdom. Plus it seems to take longer for my body to recover. Ha! Sometimes, that is.

My longest run, so far, has been 9 miles. I am still not to my pre-marathon pace, either. It is frustrating because I trained for the marathon in 2 months and was up to 12 miles. I have had 5 months already and a total of 6 months prior to this half-marathon to train and just can't seem to get my body going in the right direction, until this week.

I must've been in a plateau for several weeks. I got comfortable running 2 miles, 2 times a week with my long run thrown in on Saturday. So this week I bumped it up to 3 miles, 3 times a week plus my long run and the difference was amazing. By the third 3-miler this week, I was running at my pre-Princess Lilliput time. While I seemed out of breath and my muscles ached, it felt good. I felt the way I used to feel running, like I couldn't get enough of it.

I also changed my eating habits. I added steel cut oatmeal with almonds and cinnamon to the mornings I run. So I was able to put the energy gel chews away. Yay! Those things are just gross. I dropped my coffee consumption to half a cup a day and only to aid in recovery after a run. I am eating more protein which also aids in muscle recovery and drink Propel before and after every run. These are all the things I did when I was training in 2008 for the marathon. They seem to be doing the trick.

I also added interval training to one of my 3 mile runs. I run at a faster pace for 10 minutes in the middle of the run. I believe this has made the biggest difference for me. As far as my long runs, I always take two bottles of Gatorade on my hydration belt. This has really helped to get me through the long miles. While I am not a big proponent of Gatorade for most exercise sessions, I limit my consumption to those days I am exercising for an hour or more. It all depends on the exertion level. If you are going hard for an hour you may need the bump that Gatorade can give you to add that extra mile to the end. Any less time and water is just as good, if not better, at hydrating. My hydration belt also houses my cell phone on a long run. What can I say, I'm a safety gal. You never know what will happen when you are that far away, especially where I live.  If you travel five miles in either direction you're in the boonies.

Four weeks to go and I can't wait to see the half-marathon course. It is supposed to run by the beach. What more motivation do you need if you can run by the water?

I only have 4 more long runs before the big day. I am super-duper excited!!! Plus Mav's gonna take the kiddos for the whole weekend, so I get a mini-vacay at the beach by MYSELF!! I am the luckiest girl in the world......

No comments:

Post a Comment