This week's "Take it and Run Thursday" theme at the Runners' Lounge is How to Run Your Best Half Marathon in 2009.
I love half marathons.
Unlike 5K/10K races, which I'm pretty much prepared to run at any time, half marathons require some training. The distance is long enough to be be challenging, but the training isn't too difficult. At least not anymore -- ever since I ran a full marathon in 2007, getting ready for a half has been a piece of cake!
However, I'm not usually as prepared for my races as I should be.
I trained for my first half through the winter. The race was in early March, and was almost canceled due to snow. (The trail was cleared by race day and all was good.)
I think snow and ice may have disrupted our training plans. Maybe there were some injuries that held us back. Or maybe it was just poor planning. But we only trained up to nine miles.
That might have been OK if I had run that distance more than once, but I think I probably had only a couple runs at eight or nine. I sure felt my lack of training on race day. By the time I had passed my nine-mile base, everything hurt. But I still made it to the finish, smiling through the pain.
My first half - still smiling!
For the six other half marathons I have completed, most of the time I've managed to train up to 10 miles at least once. But I rarely have gotten that far a second time. Sometimes I only got up to eight or nine. I've always finished my races feeling OK, but not without pain and soreness!
The only half I've come away from feeling great is the one I completed four months after the marathon. I did let my mileage drop a bit between the races, and probably got my usual one or two nine or 10 mile runs prior to race day. But my body still remembered how to run that far!
As I train for the Disney Princesses Half Marathon in March, my eighth, I'm going to be more prepared.
I'm training with a class offered by my local running club. (Conveniently, our club's half marathon that the majority of my classmates are training for is one week before mine.) We have a training schedule and I'm sticking to it.
Sure, I could make one on my own. But with only a few of my running friends running half marathons as well, I'd have to add extra miles when everybody else was done. And that's no fun. Especially when we go to breakfast on weekend mornings.
And I probably wouldn't have given myself enough time to get comfortable with the longer distances.
The class has us running 10 miles for the next two weekends. Followed by two 12-mile weekends. (Well, I can't make it to class the day of the second 10-miler, but I'll still be fine.)
Will I have my best half marathon yet? Well, it might not be the fastest. I expect crowds and photo opps may slow me down in Disney.
But (knock on wood) I hope I'll be feeling great as I cross the finish line!
Labels: running amuck, take it and run