Monday, May 18, 2009

So, last fall I ran two Half marathons in the span of two weeks (Oct. 18 and Nov. 1). My time for the second was 45 seconds slower than my time for the first -- 4 seconds per mile slower. My combined time for the two was 3:21:16. At the time, I was averaging about 30-35 miles per week training.

So, I decided to attempt the same again this spring, on my road to eventually running a full Marathon. I ran "The Mini" in under 1:36 (about 5 minutes better than last fall), so clearly I had improved at least a little over the winter. However, the biggest difference has been since Samuel was born in March, I have only been averaging 15-20 miles per week. Doesn't sound like a big difference, but apparently it makes a big difference in how one's body is able to recover from a half marathon race. I ran my second Half marathon this weekend, the Geist Half Marathon ("race around the resevoir" -- although we could only see glimpes of the resevoir every few miles, most of the view was of the mcMansions near it) -- and it took me 1:50. That's more than a minute slower than two weeks ago, and a combined time of 3:25:52 -- so despite running the "The Mini" in Personal Best, I ran the Geist Half in my second-worst-half-marathon-time-ever.

And it was brutal.

The course was definitely more hilly than most others I have run, but I am pretty sure that my poor time was due more to not being fully recovered from the previous race than from the course conditions. The Indianapolis Half at Fort Harrison had similar hills, and I did that one in about 1:40. I ran the first 5K in just under 21 minutes -- on pace to do better than two weeks ago, but I could already feel my body telling me it couldn't keep this pace up. So I slowed down a little -- I ran the next couple miles at about 7:30 each, then somewhere shortly after the Five mile marker, I Hit The Wall. My body stopped running, despite my best efforts to keep it going. I walked for about the next half mile or so, took it easy at the next water station, until I could just barely see the Six mile marker in the distance. I forced myself back to a jog. I struggled to keep my pace in the low 8's for the next few miles -- slowing way down at each water station, but trying to get under 8 between stations, then had to walk again somewhere between mile Nine and mile Ten. As I approach mile Ten, I forced myself back to a run, but stopped paying attention to my pace. For the last three miles, I just forced myself to keep running, trying to go as "fast" as I could, just trying not to stop and walk anymore -- and it Hurt pretty much every step. My official finish time was 1:50:12 -- an average pace of 8:25. Most of the time, I really enjoy running -- but I think the last half of that race is the first time I can definitely say I was Not having fun.

I guess I need to make sure my weekly mileage is up to grade before trying to multiple long races so close together again -- Ugh!

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