Monday, September 20, 2010


I did it! Ok, it wasn’t official, but I ran a half marathon!!

As part of my training program they stress doing the full distance before race day. To help facilitate this they open the course 2 weeks before the race for anyone to run. The roads are not closed, but they fully mark the trail and have water stations. It was great!!

I am very happy that Galloway’s program has you do the full distance before race day (technically he says run a little more). I know many programs don’t do that. They believe that the momentum of the race will push you farther than you have gone before. That is probably true, but there is just something about having done the distance that makes race day more exciting.

I now know I can finish before the course officially opens up to traffic. They have no sweeper vehicle since they have a large number of walkers, but I really wanted to finish within the official time. Even having to go a lot slower and adding in some extra walks due to an injured running mate, our group finished over 20 minutes early. It is no longer about just finishing. I know I can do that now. I now have a time to beat. Like I said this practice run has made race day more exciting.

Now on to my two weeks of taper!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day 10k

Although I was hesitant to do another race the week after the Crim 10 mile I decided to take advantage of the last free race that was part of my training package. I had heard from others that the course was difficult so on Friday I decided to go pick up my race packet and check on the course.

Holey Moley… The hills were much more difficult than I expected. I was very close to changing my mind, but after talking to my training director (who was working a booth at the expo) I found out that the people that told me about the course actually ran the 30k – which was a much more difficult course. Although the 10k course still had hard hills (noticeable even when driving) I figured that it would be a great way to get some great hill work done in preparation for the Half in Oct.

I am so glad I decided to run! The hills were hard, but I kept my pace pretty steady even on the longest hill. Or at least I think I did. Unfortunately, the mile markers were not correct. Grrrrrr…. We knew that they were off since there were two mile three markers, but it seemed that things had been corrected. I realized that was not corrected during mile 6.

That was one really long mile! At that point I also realized that I had no real concept of what my pace was. I thought I was blowing away my goal pace - which I have done in shorter runs, but as my pace for mile 6 got longer and longer I realized that something was really wrong with the markers. 

Since the course was harder than any other I have done before, my goal was simply to be under my 5k pace from May.  Around mile 4 I realize that I was easily beating that pace (or so I thought) so I "secretly" changed my goal to be 1:30.  I kept thinking how wonderful that would feel.  By the time I realized how bad the mile markers were I gave up on that goal.   Had I realized how close I was to hitting that goal I would have sped up during that last mile. As it was I got very close at an official time 1:30:33!!

Even though I didn’t hit my stretch goal I take a lot of pride that I completed when I did. I had my best race pace to date at 14:36. That puts me in a great place to finish my half within goal. It also gets me very excited for next year. This year, as I mentioned before, isn’t really about speed. It is about finishing. About doing something that I couldn’t do before. Next year is about improvements to pace.  But with that said I have already improved my pace so much this year. I have gone from almost a 16 minute mile pace to a 14:36 mile pace (at twice the distance) since May.  My single mile pace has gone from 20+ minutes to 13:10.  I may not hit my goal of doing a single 10 minute mile this year, but I know now I can really do it.  I can’t wait to do a 5k in the spring actually see what a year of training has done!

Here are a few charts from the race: