Half Marathon Training – Week 9

Monday
I had the day off so I ran in the morning. I wasn’t sure how that would work so soon after my Sunday long run, but it worked out great. I was able to do a speedy final mile which makes me feel so strong.

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Scheduled mileage: 3 miles
Actual mileage: 3.87 miles in 34:11 minutes, an 8:49 pace

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Song from my run: “Super Bass”, Nicki Minaj. I love her sound and her personality. I thought she was the best part of American Idol this year. She’s kind but totally honest. She’d be like “Pookie, you know you’re my cupcake, but that was terrible.”

Wednesday
This run was less great. I didn’t eat well or hydrate during the day like I normally do and it felt humid outside. My shins were sore and though I started out pretty fast (maybe that was part of the problem), some point into mile 4 I just wanted to quit. I ended up saying screw it and walked parts of the last two miles.

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Scheduled mileage: 5 miles
Actual mileage: 5.06 miles in 47.01 minutes, a 9:16 pace

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This is a great example of a run where the numbers alone are perfectly acceptable (close to my goal pace) but I felt so terrible it’s like a black cloud is hanging over the run. I’ve had slower runs where I feel stronger and more positive about running in general.

Song from my run: “Music Again”, Adam Lambert. (Continuing the American Idol theme.)

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Friday
Speaking of black clouds hanging over my runs, this one was even worse. I ran in the morning and it was hot and my shins felt like they were being smacked against the ground and I just hated nearly every minute of this, but especially mile 3, a walkfest.

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Scheduled mileage: 3 miles
Actual mileage: 3.33 miles in 35:06 minutes, a 10:31 pace

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Song from my run: “Off the Wall”, Michael Jackson

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Sunday
This long run took place at the Katy Trail, which is in St. Charles, MO, which normally takes me 45 minutes to drive to. The MO’ Cowbell races were taking place at 7:30am at the same location, so my group had to change our run from 7am to 6am. I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going, so I left at 5am. If you’re wondering what dedication looks like, here you go.

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I had to get up at 4:30am to make this possible. I don’t get up that early for races, so this was quite the adventure. But hey, no traffic!

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Since there was no traffic I ended up at the meeting spot at 5:30am. I waited in my car because it was cold.

Most of the training group was racing today; there were only about 7 people doing training runs and 3 pacers. We ended up meshing together in one pacing group at the beginning and then I pulled away with Bryan and Steve. Bryan normally paces the 8-8:30 group and was the best option for Steve and I since we both wanted to be in the 9-10 range.

We began running at 6:24am and it was still dark. Thankfully Bryan was carrying a flashlight because this trail is basically going through the woods and I’d like to be able to see the bear before it eats me alive. I was happy that didn’t happen but we did encounter two rabbits, a frog (that I nearly stepped on), and a Blue Jay. The experience felt crazy but I kind of loved it. It was very peaceful running under the stars and then running as the sun rose.

This is where we ran (taken as I left since it was dark when we started).

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The first mile was very slow for me and felt wonderful. We sped up to 9-10 pace for miles 2-6 and I still felt great. I felt so great I actually talked to Bryan and Steve (normally I save all my breath for running but today I didn’t need it). Talking made the miles fly by. After mile 6 we turned around to run back. Steve wanted to pick up the pace on the way back and I was up for it as I felt wonderful. He ended up needing to stop for some hamstring stiffness but after that was still able to run so we all stuck together. I could have continued without stopping, and probably at a slightly faster pace, which made me feel great.

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Scheduled mileage: 11 miles
Actual mileage: 12.12 miles in 1:56:33, a 9:37 pace.

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Song from my run: “You Can Do It”, Ice Cube. I made a special playlist for my run today; clearly it worked. Well, that and the fact I spent most of Saturday hydrating and icing my shins. I probably only slept 5 hours, so it’s good to know sleep isn’t a requirement for me for a good run.

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After I was done I walked over to the finish line for the MO’ Cowbell races. The 5k, half marathon, and full marathon were all taking place and it had been about an hour since the half marathon start so I decided to spectate (a first for me!) and watch the really fast runners finish.

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This guy didn’t win but was one of the first finishers. I probably saw 20 people finish and most were running alone. I’m sure it’s awesome to be so fast but it must get really mentally challenging running solo in races–I really feed off the energy of the other runners.

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The finish.

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As you can see, the weather was absolutely gorgeous and the finish borders the Missouri river, making it a really nice way to end a race. I got to see the male and female winners. They ran 13.1 miles in around 1:20:00-1:25:00, which is just crazy to me. This course is supposed to be pretty flat and they give you a cowbell as part of the swag bag, so that’s fun. Maybe I’ll run it next year.

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6 responses to “Half Marathon Training – Week 9

  1. Keep up the good work! When is your race? I have a half marathon in 3 weeks and my nerves are starting to get the best of me.

    • Mine is in three weeks too–October 27th. I have a 10k this Sunday so I hope I can get rid of some of my nerves in that race.

      • I think you’ll do just great at the 10k! Might be the confidence booster you need. I am doing a half marathon on the same day as you so we can be virtual runners!

      • Thanks! Yeah, it will be awesome to be running at the same time as others whose progress I’ve followed. It makes it a little less scary.

  2. That’s awesome pace! I was at the cowbell and let me tell you, I wasn’t lonely at all….there were lots of people around me. 🙂
    It was a great race and I will probably do it again next year!

    • Thanks! There’s always runners crowded around me at races too. I never considered Mo Cowbell before because of the distance from my house but now it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

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