20 Days – Trust your training

It was a beautiful morning in Long Beach, as I drove through city struggling to find a parking spot for the start of the half marathon. No one seemed angry that they were sitting in traffic. The eyes that I met were excited and hopeful. I hadn’t been in a large group of marathoners in a while and I forgot the magic that you could feel in a group of 22,000 people, all reaching for similar goals. Some were there to run their very first 13.1 or 26.2 miles. One woman was there to run her 100th marathon. And there were others like me, there to set PRs.

I didn’t know what would happen. I was going for a sub 2 hour half marathon. It would be a day of experimentation. Start slow and don’t give up, those were my only rules. The gun went off and I started my Ipod… I specifically put several slow songs at the beginning of my playlist to keep from getting too excited. It worked. I crossed my first mile in 9 minutes. My 5k was just over 27 minutes and I hit the halfway mark at 58 minutes. I was dead on where I needed to be, but my body was starting to feel weird. My calf, which has been an issue for me over the past few weeks, was fine, but I realized too late, I was not doing a good job of pulling my foot from the ground. As a result, I was taking a pretty hard beating from the pavement. At mile 10, I would have to run a 22 minute 5k to hit my goal. I stopped to walk for a moment, accepting defeat.

“Summer!” I heard a familiar voice behind me. It was Jeff!! Seeing him brought me mixed emotions. My first thought was ‘dammit… he’s going to make me run again.’ But I knew I would thank him for that later.

“You are doing great,” He said.

I shrugged. “I really wanted a sub 2 hour half today.”

“Will you still PR?”

“Yes,” I said. “I mean I should… my current PR is 2:17.”

“I’m going to pace you to your PR then!”

We ran together for another mile and then something took over my legs. New goal reassessed… sub 2:10. I heard Jeff yell a goodbye to me as I took off.

I finished the race in 2:09:09. Not what I wanted, but a step in the right direction. There are reasons that goals are goals… they are meant to be difficult. So… 200lb deadlift was accomplished, No sub 2 hr half marathon… not NOW at least…. but a new half PR. It’s officially time for that damn pull up.

What I will say is that my low mileage training really seemed to help today. There is no way I could have run a half marathon at that pace a year ago with the type of training I am doing. High intensity for a short period of time seems the way to go, at least for me. I can’t wait to see how this translates to a 100 miler.

Training this week was as follows:

Sunday 10-04-09

Heavy Deadlifts – PR at 200lbs

Row tabata (695 meters)

21 burpees

Monday 10-05-09

22 burpees

Tuesday 10-06-09

2×5 back squats @ 95 lbs

5 Rounds:

200 meter sprint
15 KB swings (36 lbs)
15 push ups
15 box jumps

Finished in 15:40

23 burpees

Wednesday 10-7-09

24 burpees

Thursday 10-08-09

15 minutes, AMRAP:

5 push ups
10KB swings (26 lb)
15 sit ups

Finished 11 rounds (two rounds more than 8-18-09)

25 burpees

Friday 10-09-09

Tabata run

26 burpees

Saturday 10-10-09

27 burpees

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dewi August 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Good article, and a great point that you have to find out what works for you indldivualiy. Don’t just ask someone what you should eat and then think everything will be perfect. Record what you ate, when you ate, how you slept, how you felt/performed at different kinds of exercises. Take everything thing into account and tinker with things until you find what works. Take some foods away from the diet for at least 30 days, see how you everything goes, then introduce them back in and see what effects it has on everything. Its an art, not a science : )

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