Sunday, August 22, 2010

Half Marathon Training - Week 7 - Sunday

I thought I might die this morning. I had a 11 mile run to complete this morning. I will be honest and learned the hard way today how important diet and hydration is to training, especially when you have a big run like today. Being back in school has really helped me create a routine during the day that is quite beneficial to my goals. It is just that 4:00 - 6:30 time frame when I am home in the evening that has been my challenge. Aside from that I went out on the river yesterday for a few hours and then spent all evening in a heated pool celebrating a friends birthday. Being in water all day was not the best for my legs. They felt quite heavy this morning. This was probably more from the pool than the river as I did not really swim much, but just chillled on the beach. The other problem was that I did not eat properly to fuel my body for this race. I ate food from the grill and did not eat every few hours, but instead hit and miss. This was also the case with my fluids. I did not drink water like I normally do.

With all that being said, I took off this morning later in the morning around 9:00. It was warm, but not really hot and a little muggy. I took off and knew that 11 miles would be tough. My mind was not strong out of the gates and when battling with your brain it makes it even more difficult. I drank some water prior to running and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich along with a gel pack(courtesy of Jeff Paul, thank you!). The first few miles were not bad at all and I slowly began to think it would not be terrible. I decided to take on some hills during this run to make up for the runs I missed earlier this week(I missed two 3 mile runs due to my knee). These hills about killed me. The knee felt really good. The shot has started to take effect. It was still sore yesterday, but today no pain even after the run. I still pressed on, but was sweating at a crazy rate. By mile 7-8 I had depleted all my fluids in my water bottles that I run with and knew that was not a good sign. I really started to slow down. By this point I had already ingested a gel pack and the gel chews(GU brand is the best by the way). I pushed on and finished the third nasty hill that just took everything out of my legs. I ran until mile 9 and at that point I did have to stop and walk for a little bit as my body felt extremely hot and I began to feel light headed. I was close to home and considered walking it home and calling it good. However, I knew that my mind is not as strong as my body so I gathered up the mental toughness from all corners of my mind and made myself get back running to complete the 11 miles. The last two miles were not as bad as I thought they would be.

I learned a few things this morning that are vital to training and life.
1. Do your homework and prepare yourself. In this case, I knew that I should have packed my meals and water for the day. I thought this to myself all day and never did anything about it. I learned the hard way that if you don't prepare, you won't achieve the desired results. The same things I tell my students and players on a daily basis. DUH!!!
2. The body is incredibly tough. It is much tougher than the brain. I have read multiple stories and multiple research journals about this topic and today i finally witnessed it myself. My body just trudged on through while my brain was trying to talk itself out of it.
3. I need a better stretching plan for after a long run because my legs hurt beyond any soreness I have ever felt. Part of this is probably due to dehydration, but I really need to revamp my stretching. Any advice I will gladly take.

After a hectic week of injuries, school, my children going to school, etc. I feel I ended on a good note. I ran the 11 miles in 1 hour adn 46 minutes which is a 9:39 pace. This is 8 seconds faster of a pace than last week when I ran 10 miles at a 9:47 pace. Slowly making my way to my race goal pace of 9:09.

Another big week coming up where I have to put in 30 miles with a big 13 mile run which will really give me good insight into my running time for the race.

“When things aren’t working, try something new and different. Be creative. Never give up. Never.”

Keep believing in yourself and continue to push through the challenges to reach your goals. Desired goals are never met to be easy to achieve. Have a great week.
-Aaron
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