I wasn't sure if I should blog about half marathon training, because well, it's kind of boring. I mean, I put one foot in front of the other for a specified number of miles. And also, I'm always freakishly afraid that talking too much about something will mean that something will somehow end in failure. I'm insane, I know.
But in the end, I take so much inspiration from people who do write about their running successes and failures that I thought, why not?
I'm following a training program that my friend Barb shared--it was created by her friend, a certified running coach. So far, I really like it. While I like Hal Higdon's programs and would have otherwise used his, I also felt like his novice program was more about increasing miles to get to that point. This is great, but the longest run on his program is ten miles. I've already ran ten miles, and I feel like if need be, I could get up and run 13.1 miles tomorrow. I wouldn't run it strong or well, though, which is what I really want to focus on for the next fourteen weeks. Although the training plan is only twelve weeks, my race is fourteen weeks away. I like the extra time in case I need to re-do a week for whatever reason or in case the kids and I are really sick, which is always possible.
This week was a mixed bag. I felt that I ran strong, actually, but I missed Thursday's run due to a migraine (a really nasty stupid migraine that has finally convinced me that I need to see a doctor). It was only a three mile run, so I don't think it's going to make or break anything, but it's still frustrating. The plan calls for four days of running, with two days of strength/cross training, and one day of rest (yay rest!). On the non-run days, I've been doing the Tough Mudder workout. It's hard. I don't do pushups the right way and I'm not even attempting the chin-ups, but it's kicking my butt. It's needed, though! Maybe this means that someday, I can open pickle jars all on my own.
I'm really trying to work on negative splits. It's hard, because my tendency is to start out really fast, because I feel good. Unfortunately, I then can't maintain and end up slow and gasping and it's not pretty. I'm getting much better at starting out slower. Sometimes I really have to force myself to slow down, but I'm getting there. I love it when I do, because speeding up toward the end of a run feels great.
With today's five mile run, I did a pretty good job of it. Mile one was 11:11, followed by 11:03 for mile two, 10:30 for three, 9:59 for mile four, and 10:08 for mile five. Not a perfect negative split because mile five was a little slower than four, but I also had to step off the road and onto the grass to let a car pass at one point, so I'm counting it.
The nicest thing about knowing that I can probably run this distance without dying is being able to focus on improving my running itself. Of course, I say this now. Check back with me on April 1st, and I'll probably be cursing myself for ever thinking this was a good idea!