Sunday, September 6, 2009

What a difference a week makes

On August 29, 2009, I ran the Sankara iWalk 2009 1/2 marathon.  I did not sign up for it until Thursday.  My training schedule called for a 11 mile run so I thought this might be fun and different.

The 1/2 marathon started at 8am.  And, it was hot!  I heard that it hit mid-90s during the run. It was painful.  The course was flat, but there was no shade.  Since it was a training run, I thought I would run at a 9 min a mile pace and try to come in under 2 hours.  For whatever reason, I started off fast (well fast for me).  The first mile I did about 7 min a mile.  The second mile I was about 8 min a mile.  As I stated it was very hot.  So I made a big mistake by starting off fast.  Between mile 4 and 5, I lost all my energy and I had to start walking.  I just felt beat and dizzy.  It was a tough run.  I'm not a big fan of running in the heat to begin with, but without shade and no wind, it was difficult to hit your timing goals.  The next 4 or 5 miles were a struggle for me.  My avg pace quickly increased (as in slower and slower).  8:30, then 9:00 min a mile.  Soon I was at 9:10 am at the halfway point.  When I ran I was doing okay.  At the halfway point, if I could keep pace then I could fight to come in under 2 hours.  However, it was just getting hotter and by mile 7, I knew I had to walk again.  So the rest of the race, I ran when I could and walked when I lost energy.  Generally, I would go about a mile to a mile and a half running and then walk a little.  It was a very disappointing run because I expected to come in under 2 hours.  I finished at 2:08:37.

I was glad that I finished strong.  The last two-three miles I pushed to maintain a good pace.  Here is a picture of me after the race.  One other note, I was very happy that someone that I run with when I run in the 9 min pace group came in first in her age group.  That was exciting.

Well this past Sat., the training program called for 13 miles.  It was a training day so I was not going to push myself too hard.  Yet, it was important to me that I did not feel the strong urge to walk and that I felt good at the end (unlike the prior Sat).  I was intending to run with the 9 min pace group, but they were starting at 6:30 am (anticipating that it would be a hot day).  That would mean I would have to get up around 5 am and after  a long week, I passed.  I decided to meet the 9:20 pace group at 8am.  It was a very good run.  I felt fine at 9:20 pace.  About the last two-three miles, I picked up the pace and ending up coming in at 1:59 for 13 miles.  The key is that I felt good during and after the run.

A bad run (even if you have an excuse) just beats away at your confidence so it's nice to come back with a good run.  I feel that if I'm smart about not starting too fast, in my next 1/2 marathon I should be able to break the 2 hr mark.  Hopefully, I can do that at the R&R San Jose 1/2 marathon so that I could feel that I have some glimer of hope of running a sub 4 at the SV marathon.

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