12 weeks of training for the Rock & Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon are done. Wow. Seriously? Time flies. I’d be lying if I said it went perfectly. I had a bad cold, a few days of shin trouble, an unplanned business trip, I slacked at cross training… but still, I’m pretty satisfied. I learned a lot training for my first half marathon.
The Most Valuable Lessons I Learned While Training:
- A training plan is just a plan. If the plan calls for an 18 mile week and you have a 17 mile week – that’s still a great week! I’ve caught myself thinking of that week as a failure. It’s not.
- It is ok to miss workouts when you’re sick, tired, or sore. Skipping one track workout because your shins ache is much smarter than working yourself into a stress fracture because you don’t want a day off. Remember, your ultimate goal is to run a race and you can’t do that if you get hurt because you’re being stubborn.
- Replace your shoes regularly. Keep track of the miles you put on your shoes (DailyMile is a useful tool for this) and replace them BEFORE they blow out. Your feet will thank you.
- Find friends to do your long runs with. Long runs take a lot of time and they’re a lot more pleasant when you have company.
- Remember, most of us run because we like it NOT because we’re training to win races. Go easy on yourself when you have a bad run. Loosen up on your time goals. Most of our running goals are self imposed. We can adjust as necessary!
Week 12 Training Recap:
I got my first ever sports massage
to try to work out a series of annoying knots in my butt/hamstring. My legs are still a little sore but they’re feeling a lot better than they were pre-massage.
Tuesday 8/23: I did a 2 mile easy run around my neighborhood. My legs felt great & I kept the run feeling easy – even taking several walk breaks on a really short run.
Wednesday 8/24: My legs were totally dead and I felt totally panicked. I went to my track workout, which was cancelled because there was a school event on the track, and badgered my coach with questions about how I should alter my last week and a half of training. We had a short hill workout where I ran about 1.5 miles. She made me promise to stretch a lot, ice bathe, and take my runs extra easy until VA Beach.
Thursday 8/25: I totally rested and sat on a tennis ball to work on the butt knot.
Friday 8/26: I went to the gym and rode about 5 miles. Legs were feeling pretty good and I decided to go out for my long run Saturday, ahead of Irene. I had 10 miles on the schedule but planned to cut out early if I was having any kind of tired or sore legs.
I met Suze
and our friend Suzanne for our long run. It was so humid but I felt surprisingly good. After a few miles I decided I’d be in for the full 10 miler. We had a few detours due to construction and high waters from Irene but we ended up with about 9.4 miles. We took it really slowly – stopping to walk and stretch pretty much every mile. It was exactly what I needed the week before my first half marathon.
9.4 miles around the nation's capital on a Saturday morning. It never gets old.
Stretching out on the cars after this morning's 9 miler
Today is a stretch and rest day. I’m planning to take little Fin out for a nice long walk – though for a 7 pound dog that equals about 2 miles.
I hope everyone on the east coast survived Hurricane Irene and is safe today. Be safe if you’re going out for a bike ride or run this afternoon – it’s still really windy in DC!