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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rock N Roll St. Louis/Wine and Dine Half Marathons Training

I'm sure I've mentioned this, but in the coming weeks, I am registered for not one, but 2 half marathons. As the Princess Half approached this year, I could already feel the post race blues coming on, and I hadn't even done that race yet. I needed something else on the books to keep me going after PHM. I will admit, my motivation to run isn't super high, and if I don't have something to train for, I really think running would be sporadic. I don't love running. I love a lot of the side effects of running, but the actual activity itself, well if I have the choice to sit and veg or run, I'm sitting and being lazy. It's something I still struggle with after a year of running. So during the cold winter months, registration opened with a good discount code, and I registered. Boy was that cheaper than a Disney race. At the time I had no hopes of doing another Disney race until Princess 2014. But March and the Wine and Dine half registration came closer to opening, and I got caught up in the frenzy, registering the day registration opened. The interesting part is that they are 13 days apart, with RnR STL on Oct 27 and Wine and Dine on Nov 9. Now plenty of people do half marathons close together, no big deal. But I barely made it through my first half. I was injured for a good chunk of training and I slowly chugged along. I only got up to 10 miles before that race and many factors contributed to me slowly finishing that race. The weather was ugly and I was hurting in a bad way. The last couple of miles felt like death and I didn't ever want to do it again. That didn't stop me from keeping up with my plans for 2 half marathons in 13 days in the fall. I did my time in physical therapy for my knee, I threw my money at every massage therapist and chiropractor I could and by May I was finally doing better. I still kept my miles low until July rolled around and I started on a more regular training plan for these races. The good news is, according to the Jeff Galloway training plan, I am supposed to run 14 miles two weeks before that half, so a half marathon will do. I'm also rather curious about what time I can really run a half in, now that I'm not injured, with conditions not as sweltering, and fully trained. I plan on taking the Wine and Dine half kind of easy, I want to enjoy it, so RnR will be my race for time. I finished PHM in 2:48, which was still decent given the conditions and the fact that I did stop for 4 pictures. I've been climbing in miles well and I'm thrilled with how well training is going. By the time I got to 6-7 miles in PHM training, I was hurting, so when I did 8, 9 and 10 miles, it was slow and ugly. I limped for days after each run. It's so refreshing to see how well longer runs go now when I'm not hurting. 2 weekends ago, I climbed to 8 miles. This was only the 4th time I've gone to 8 miles or higher. My speed has improved over the months and I am finally able to keep up with a lot of the local girls, albeit barely. But months ago, I couldn't keep up for even a quarter of a mile, so I will take the improvement, even if they are chatting away and I'm just trying not to die. It was warm and muggy outside and a hilly course. The course was a preview course for a 10k I am doing next weekend. I added on miles since I needed 8. The course has one ugly part, and when I say ugly, I mean ugly. Locals call it Captain Johnson.
As you can see, it's a short hill. Maybe .15 miles. Going down is great, going up is not, as it's a steep climb. I slowed to a crawl going up this hill, but I made it running. Even with having to climb what I felt like was Mount Everest, I still finished that run averaging less than 10:30 per mile over the 8 miles.
I also set a new 10k PR, shaving over a minute off of the previous PR I had set two weeks before.
This excites me, because it's been so long since I've had an official 10k time to report. If I can manage this during a training run, I'm confident everything goes well and I can repeat during the 10k next weekend. My previous official 10k was from last October and my time was over 1:09. This will be a much better time to submit to Disney for better corral placement. After those 8 miles, my runner's high quickly worn off. I will admit that in the 2 weeks since then, my motivation tank has gone from full to nearly empty. I have been skipping one of my weekday runs since we've had some soccer interruptions and it's still been hot. Last weekend, I shamefully admit that I skipped my long run altogether. I know I can't lose steam this late in the game, when I'm so close to being done. I went out Friday morning, and this lead to a bad run, but at least a run where I met my goal. I had 9.5 miles on tap for this weekend. I scheduled my long run with other local girls, the girls that I huff and puff keeping up with. I knew I needed to run with other people to keep me going for 9.5 miles, but part of me was dreading trying to keep as close to a 10 minute pace as possible for that long. But I prepared my body for that mileage today, knowing I'd need it. I headed out early this morning to meet up with the group. Lucky for me, a couple of other girls who take things a bit slower had showed up and we decided to set out. They were doing run/walk intervals as one girl, in the middle of marathon training, had been battling injuries, and even if it was slower than I normally do, I was ok with chilling out a bit. My body thanked me for it. I. Felt. Great. I did a lot of miles with these girls during training for PHM so it was nice to catch up with them. Good conversation made the miles go by quickly. I didn't find myself begging for the end. I actually decided to run a bit longer, and ended up doing over 10 miles. Our pace was over 11 minutes, I could have gone faster, but I was comfortable and I felt like I could have kept going.
I felt great after, and have all day. I'm not sore, no aches or pains, I'm not limping. This is one of the rare moments where I actually enjoy running itself. I took a look at the last time I did 10 miles, 2 weeks before PHM. My pace was much slower and even though I was with a group of girls, it couldn't have been over fast enough. I felt ready to die and I was miserable. I was not comfortable during and I wasn't comfortable after, like I was during both today.
I'm very pleased with the progress and looking forward to my 10k next weekend, and climbing to 11 miles the weekend after.


  1. NICE job April! You are going to rock St. Louis!

  2. Yay for not feeling like you want to die! And I'm glad your leg pain has not resurfaced!

  3. I can't wait to hear about RNR St. Louis - been thinking if doing that one next year!

  4. YOu are gonna kill it in St Louis! You are doing great too. I would much rather veg myself.