Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lessons Learned and looking forward to running again

First, thanks for the comments (directly and indirectly) regarding the marathon. I was disappointed with my time. I really wanted a sub-4. However, I'm over that. I'm really happy to have completed the marathon healthy! I also know I had a tough race. Just never felt myself and yet still finished with a time within my range. So, I am happy.

I also learned a few things:

(1) I need to run through my long runs (18 miles plus) without walk breaks. During the long runs, my running group ran a mile and then walked 30 seconds. I was okay with that routine because I was battling my knee injury and did not have much confidence that my knee would hold up through the training schedule. For the next marathon, I think for training purposes the last 1/3 of every long run (at least) I have to run it with no walk breaks (to the extent possible) and try to run that last 1/3 near marathon pace. I'll have to think about the details, but I think the walk breaks on the very long runs do not work for me because I need to get my body used to running for 18, 20 . . . 26.2 miles straight.

(2) My hill work and speed workouts were good, I think. Next time, I need to get in more tempo runs at marathon pace. Because of my knee injury I could not run for about 5 months before training so when I started training I took it very slowly and carefully. I don't think I pushed myself enough on the tempo runs at marathon pace.

(3) I need to learn to relax more in the marathon. I think because I knew I was fighting a cold and had horrible sleep the night before, I was real tense. I need to keep in mind to relax and run smoothly.

I'm so thankful that I was able to complete the marathon and beat my prior time by about 55 mins. I know that I can do better and I really look forward to my next race. Yet, when I started this training program I was very unsure whether my knee would hold up. Even though I had to tape my knee daily and run with a brace, it held up through the training and the marathon!

Part of me wants to go out and run another race right away. Yet, it has been over a year since my left knee has been pain free. I told myself I would take about a month off and hopefully it will heal completely. My physical therapist recommended that I take 6-8 weeks off (that's a long time). There is a turkey trot in San Jose that I really want to run. That would be about a month off. Thus, I am going to keep that race open and if my knee feels good, I'll run it (likely slowly). If my knee needs a couple more weeks then I'll pass.

For 2010, I want to run two marathons. The first one I'm considering is one of the following: Napa, Big Sur, San Diego, or Seattle. Which one will depend on my knee and whether I can start running in late November. The second marathon will either be Chicago, DC or the SV marathon.

As far as exercise during this time off from running, I plan to bike and use the elliptical. I went for a bike ride on Sat. and jumped on the elliptical on Sunday. Not the same enjoyment as running. I also want to do weight training and maybe try Yoga. I would love to play basketball, but that would not give my knee a break. Whatever I do . . . I'll be counting the days until I start running again.

BTW:  we put together the jogging stroller for the baby-to-come this weekend.  Still have two months until she is due, but can't wait to take her running.

Also, Jake is doing great.  We dressed him up a devil for Halloween.


Mark said...

Good stuff, Tim. I'm thinking many of the same things in my journey to breaking four hours. Long runs!!!

ShutUpandRun said...

Great lessons learned. I have learned to respect the long run and to make sure it is an exercise in the correct way to train. Not too fast, not too slow. Yay for the jogging stroller, kept me sane when my kiddos were young.

Meg Runs said...

Jogging strollers are fun, my grandson loves running with me in his stroller! Sounds like you have some sound changes in mind...come to San Diego, it's such a fun run!

aron said...

great attitude, cant dwell on the past, but moving forward and learning lessons from each race is always the way to go!

napa and big sur are both on my evnetual to do lists too :)