I was asked to travel to Arkansas to compete by friend Brian Rayl. After a little deliberation I decided to go ahead and make the trip. I made the final decision to compete at the beginning of September, shortly after completing the Bears of Blue River 10K and and subsequently 3 weeks into the new training plan I chose.
I chose the Half-Marathon Training Program for Advanced Competitive Runners from Running Planet. I wanted something different after having used the Cool Running program for several races. This program is different in several ways, it includes a lot more pacework, harder speed sessions, and in general is a tougher program. In short, I liked it! Some of the workouts were a little complex and I had to re-read them to make sure I understood what I was supposed to do. The site said, “this half marathon training program assumes that you are currently at a base of at least a 6 mile long run and at least 15 total miles per week.”
Even with my taper I was at that level so that was a good start! Being three weeks behind I had missed a few speed sessions, but nothing too much. Unfortunately, I was suffering with a little burnout. I had still been racing Thursday nights at Shadyside in addition to another speed session and possibly a weekend race.
The weekend before I decided for sure to do the Arkansas race I did a brick workout with a friend who is training for a half-Ironman distance triathlon next summer. It was a 25 mile bike and 3 mile run brick. (A brick is when you ride your bike and then try and run, it is hard because your legs feel like bricks!) That was a little grueling.
I licked my wounds and got right back into it. Not the best thing to do with burnout, but I managed okay and bounced back fairly well. We traveled several times in September (anniversary) and October (being in Chicago for the inferno of a marathon!) which resulted in missing some runs. It was fun to run on the Prairie Path in Wheaton, IL with a college buddy and his high school cross country team.
I missed several days of training after volunteering at the Chicago Marathon. I wasn’t feeling very well and it was hot. I missed a 16 miler and a couple of speed sessions. I tried to make up for it a little bit and raced the Indianapolis Half Marathon on October 20 which I completed in 1:37:31.
I missed a few more days of training at the end of October because of a trip to Boone, North Carolina for an interview, missing the last few hard workout before the race.
After traveling I raced a pretty good race finishing 1:36:19. I wasn’t completely happy with it and felt like I was in better shape. But after looking back through my training, I see a huge common theme: MISSING WORKOUTS.
How can I expect to perform at my best, breaking PRs, and meeting my goals if I don’t train consistently? I think that is something I struggled with all year and even right now as I take time off to relax and recover. Some of the time I missed workout could be directly tied to lacking motivation. A little ache may not have been anything serious, but a day off was easy to justify!
As I look to next year, I’ll need to be more consistent and stick to the schedules. I’ll plan ahead and make sure training schedules don’t overlap and that I’ll have “down time” between big events.
Graph created by Running Ahead, my online running log. If you look closely you’ll notice that the dates from Part 3 and Part 2 overlap. This is because the training program was supposed to start before I raced the 10K.
At the gym again… this time I did the bike. I rode for 30 minutes passing 9.53 boring miles staring out the window! I was listening to my trusty mp3 player. Today I rode a strength workout on the bike which included several hills, maintaining my pace throughout. It was a sold workout and my legs hurt a little afterwards! On a more personal note, I really don’t like the seats they have. They use the wide seats which are supposed to be better I guess, but I prefer the seat on my road bike!