Sunday, August 29, 2010

Half Marathon Training - Week 8 - Sunday - Half Marathon Benchmark Set!

I can't believe I am going to say this, but this morning I actually enjoyed my two hours of running. Am I kidding? No, but I still cannot believe I feel this way. I woke up this morning at 4:30, did my rituals for a long run, one cup of coffee, coconut water, water and a gel pack, bread with peanut butter and honey, load up my gadgets to make me robot like, pick a direction to run and away I go. I had to run 13 miles this morning. When I finally left around 5:15 it was already 73 degrees outside. I was like oh no, this is going to be another tough run like last weekend. However, that idea left my brain and I was mentally strong. For some reason, I never doubted myself, only had good thoughts, zoned out many times through the run, and finished feeling really good. I have never had a run where I did not try to talk myself out of running or being able to do it. Maybe it was all the stress I have had this week that allowed me to just run freely and get away from it all or something. Anyways, I ran the 13.2 miles in 2 hours 5 minutes. That is 5 minutes away from my race goal of under 2 hours. I finished and did not feel dead like last week where I had to stop. I really watched my water and food intake yesterday so I know that is one difference and it was not quite as hot. I also changed up what liquid I carry with me. This time I had water in one and Powerbar Endurance mix in the other. I stopped at a water fountain to refill my water so that also helped.

As I continue to train I know that I have set my benchmark. I want to run under 2 hours, but even if I don't I know that I have to be under 2 hours 5 minutes. My first time running this pace and I feel quite good about the result. I was running at a 9:31 mile pace which is 8 seconds faster than my 11 mile run last weekend and 16 seconds fast than my 10 mile run pace from two weeks ago. I continue to make improvements and that is all that is important. Nothing like burning 2345 calories by 7 am!!

What I am I learning along the way? I have learned several things and yet I have so much more to learn. Here is quick list.

1. Hydration is so important. Drinking water throughout the day, all day, and avoiding those sugar laden drinks. I see so many people consuming unnecessary calories in beverages. If one would record all calories from what they drink, they would probably poop an egg in shock.

2. Training is important, but not as important as what you do the rest of the day. What you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat is extremely important. I eat all day, but due to watching what I eat has caused to continue to push myself and at the same time losing weight in a healthy way. I have not lost any strength or muscle, just the fat that is not needed.

3. Strength training - despite running all the time, my legs still need to get stronger as does my core. It is interesting to see what parts of the body wear out on the long ride. Early on it was my legs, but now I feel it in my lower back, shoulders, and some other parts that I need to continue to work on in my circuit training. You need your whole body to be strong to be able to be successful. I still hate those guys who have huge upper bodies, but toothpicks for legs.

4. Love what you do! If you absolutely hate what you are doing, then try something new. Don't be afraid to get out there and try something that you think you cannot do. I never would have dreamed of running 13 miles until a few months ago when I made it a goal. When the racing is over what will I do? I already have a goal to train for a triathlon over the winter to keep things fresh and new. Mix things up and have fun with life. It is too short to do something you hate.

Alright, I now need to quickly rest my legs for the next hour before I go golf 18 hole in this 90 degree weather. Stupid? Yes, but how does one say no to a 6 foot 7 father-in-law who lives for this weekend? You don't and hence the reason I am golfing. My goal is to shoot under 180 as 10 strokes is the cutoff per hole. I have no legs so this goal may not be reached. Have a good Sunday!
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