Right now, I’m five weeks into my half marathon training for the Wineglass Half Marathon on October 1. I originally planned to run the full marathon last fall, but had to defer my entry until this year after finding out I was pregnant 🙂 There’s no way I could train for a full marathon only 6 months after giving birth, so I was happy to be able to switch my entry to the half. I have heard great things about this race – from the beautiful course to the solid organization of the entire weekend experience – so I’m really looking forward to running it this fall.
For this race, I’ve decided to use Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 half marathon training program. In training for my first half marathon, I used his Intermediate 1 half marathon program, and in training for my first full marathon, I used his Intermediate 1 full marathon plan. Although a lot of runners consider his training plans to be a bit “vanilla”, I like them for when my goal is to just finish a race, with no time goal. Of course, I have a time in mind that I’d like to hit for this half, but my main goal is to just get across the finish line.
I am one of those people who likes to print out a training plan and cross off each run as I complete it – I guess I am enough of a visual person that this gives me some sense of how far I’ve come and how far I’ve still got to go. Being my usual absent-minded, mom-brained self, I miscounted the twelve weeks until the half marathon, and ended up starting training a week late. My initial plan was to just eliminate the 5K race week (hence the red line through it), but I ended up skipping my long run last week and running 5K instead. Brooke got sick, and both Matt and I are in the midst of a few very stressful weeks at both our jobs, with lots of longer hours – by that weekend, getting an extra few minutes of sleep trumped the long run. But, we’re back on our feet now 🙂
So, my plan this weekend was to do the 7 mile long run that I was supposed to complete last weekend. The weather forecast for Sunday – which is the day I typically do my long runs – looked great, and I was really looking forward to the run.
I got started a few minutes later than planned, because Brooke was playing with her favorite new toy and being way too cute and happy for me to head out the door without enjoying a few extra minutes with her 🙂 .
I was a little bit apprehensive about this run because I really gave myself a day off yesterday as far as food goes. I tend to do this on the weekends – I try to make healthy choices during the week, but then let myself cut loose a bit on the weekends, which usually means pizza, a few beers or glasses of wine with my husband, and whatever else we might be in the mood for. Yesterday, feeling the end of summer weighing heavily upon us, we made an impromptu trip down to Ocean City with a pit stop at our favorite bar/brewery, Burley Oak, on the way.
We also stopped at McDonalds on the way to the beach. Dinner was leftover pizza from Friday night. Obviously, this wasn’t the best fueling plan for today’s long run, but I thought/hoped that if I took it slowly, I’d be okay given that the weather was going to be somewhat cooler than normal. I was wrong.
While I’m not terribly dissatisfied with my pace – it’s actually fairly close to what I’d normally run a 7-mile long run in, even pre-pregnancy – I struggled through the entire 7 miles. Those miles did not feel good in any way, and by the time I got home, I was drenched in sweat and hurting. Definitely not how you want to finish your runs – not just during a training cycle, but ever. It really did a number on my confidence in my ability to get back to 13.1. If I feel this bad after 7 miles, how am I going to finish nearly double that?! But, I’m going to chock this one up to taking last week “off” and having a horrible day nutritionally yesterday, and hope that next week is better.
After cooling down for a bit, I decided to take my first step back towards making healthier food choices. One of my favorite post-long run meals is steel cut oatmeal (I use the quick-cook variety) with raisins, peanut butter, a sprinkle of hazelnuts, and a bit of honey. I also usually add bananas or some kind of berry, but we were totally out of both – definitely in need of grocery shopping trip, stat.
I have another busy week at work this week, and we’re going on vacation for a week starting Saturday, so we’ll see how things go. Like I’m sure many others do, I find it difficult to get my runs in on vacation, so I will probably do my 8 mile long run this Friday, which means the rest of my runs this week will get bunched up and done on consecutive days. Fingers crossed for more cool weather!
What race(s) are you training for? What do you do when you have to make adjustments to your training plan? How do you recover when a run doesn’t go as planned? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 🙂