Monday, March 11, 2013

Run to Race Day: Week Three

So these posts have become a bit all over the place lately. But then, so has the rest of my life. It's been crazy busy for us over the past week or so: the car, E's teething, work, church, half marathon training, family things, keeping up with friends, and the usual business of keeping the house tidy. That said, this past week of running hasn't been half bad. As far as frequency is concerned, I did pretty well...though I definitely need to scale myself back for this last week before Sunday. I need to keep my knees from feeling like wobbly jelly after every run.

My 5 by the 5th run went okay. As I recall, I was feeling a bit under-the-weather between a headache and what, for some reason, felt like a Herculean effort to maintain my usual pacing. I kept it under a 10-minute mile, but that took some doing.

This run was actually pretty great. It was another Baby Swap run. The weather was gorgeous, I had some good music, and I ran a fun stretch of trail. Granted, this isn't the most tranquil or picturesque part of the Blackwater Valley Path, but considering how much time I spend doing road running through the town and the neighbourhood, even a little trail time is a nice change.

Can you tell who forgot to take a picture on her run? This lady right here. This 3-miler was slower since I was pushing the buggy. Again, what seemed to characterise a lot of my runs lately has been the increase in my perceived effort. Not sure what that's all about, but hopefully some R&R and a bit of gentle cross-training this week ought to make things easier for Sunday.

This was another Baby Swap run and it was a manifestly bad idea. See that 15-minute pace at the end? It crept up the whole second half of my run because I'd made an error in fueling. I ate just a bit too soon before my run. That combined with whatever else meant that I was ridiculously sick afterwards. You know it's bad when you have to walk it out for the last 1/3 of a mile on such a relatively short distance. Oops.

Oh yeah: another bad idea? Pushing way too hard in the first half of a run without taking enough breaks. This is what I get for trying to run with my brother-in-law when he's training to sustain an 8-minute mile over a half marathon. That 7:58 pace in the first mile is far faster than my fastest pace over just a single mile; let alone anything in the 5 to 6-mile range. You can see why I slowed down so much in miles 4 and 5 just to recuperate. But in the end, it wasn't all bad, and at least the Fartlek-like speed work pushing my pace in the first half made that 9:15 pace over the last mile feel pretty easy by comparison.

So, I don't expect to do much running at all this week. I'll try to get in lots of walking, do some (meager) strength training, and perhaps squeeze in two 3-milers with E in his jogging buggy. Anything more than that is likely to do me more harm than good at this stage. Of course, the biggest quandry for me will still be trying to fine-tune my fueling strategy for the race. 13.1 miles is a long time and I'd like to strike the right balance of eating and drinking enough at the right times so I'm not ruining my timing by having to take bathroom breaks.

The goal for this first half marathon? Try to keep my time close to 2 hours. If I can stay under 2:10:00, that'll make me a happy gal.

Here's hoping it all goes to plan!

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