Sunday, April 10, 2011

Marathon and Half Marathon Training - Week Unknown...Mother Nature offers free GU Gel

My training plan is off. I fell off big...or at least thought I did the last few weeks. I was following a plan perfectly if you go back about 4 weeks and read my weekly reflections. You will notice that as I quite reflecting each Sunday so did my motivation to run and stay focused. I really think they go hand in hand.

Now, as my wife reminds me I was not sitting around being lazy. 20 days ago I was in a basketball tournament and tried to run 13 miles, but stopped at 11 miles after each step hurt like crazy. 13 days ago I did not run due to a basketball tournament in which I played in an ungodly amount of games.

Last weekend I did not run and that was more of me making excuses. I had some big project to get done before little one arrives and therefore made every excuse to not run after being mad at myself for not running so great the last two previous weekends.

During the week I have been staying course. I have left my marathon training plan behind as I have adapted more the half marathon training plan of my buddies who are training for their first half in a couple weeks. We have left the hill runs behind for some sprint workouts on the track. If you want to see what we have been doing and what I have not been doing on the weekends check out my dailymile account

This weekend I was determined to get my long run in. I needed to get at least 11 miles in to help build my stamina back up and mental toughness. However, last night before bed I switched gears. I said, "Aaron, quit being a turd and RUN!"

So, I decided to run a half marathon with no running route prepared and just go. At 5 this morning that is what I did. My course on Daily Mile if you look at it is a mess. I was all over the place and ended up running about 4 big hills that I did not want to run. My mile splits were kid of all over the place.

1: 8:42
2. 8:27
3. 8:53
4. 8:51

I ran the 13 miles in 1 hour and 51 minutes. I felt pretty good about that run based on my poor training and diet the last three weeks. My goal for my first race was to hit around 1 hour 40 minutes or under but I don't think I am any close to hitting that stride yet.

One thing I did learn is that Mother Nature offers free GU gel packs along the creek. I am not a nutritionist or a scientist, but the I am pretty sure the 417 gnats I ingested through eyes, nose, and mouth equals one pack of GU. They were swarming all around this morning. Mother Nature also offered a view of a family of deer, a raccoon, a skunk, and insects galore.

I looked back to my first half marathon last fall to see what I ran and here is part of my post from the race:
Today I beat my personal best time of 13.1 run of 1 hour 53 minutes by running the QC Half Marathon in 1 hour 46 minutes. I crushed my time and ran at a pace I never thought I could possibly run. This comes out to a 8:09 pace. I finished 268th overall out of 1726 finishers. I finished 31 out of 98 in my division. Not to sound stupid, but I am so proud of myself. I am living proof that anyone can achieve their goals if they just pursue and lay out a plan to achieve the goal.

I was about 5 minutes off my time from last year. I have work to do to make improvements and if I get dialed in the next few weeks I should be able to beat that time. Maybe not by much, but enough to say I beat it

 Reading my past posts of training for my first race last year and the unbelievable Jeff Paul there is more than enough motivation and reason to push myself to the next step.

Time to quite making excuses and time to get after it.
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