2017 Training Stats

Miles Completed = 29.01
(Run/Walked = 29.01, Biked = 0.0, Elliptical = 0.0)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Have I Learned?

So, I've been a bit bad about blogging recently. Work has just been crazy and hasn't left me with much time for me, but I wanted to get this post out there because it's been on my mind for a while now.

Last Sunday marked my fifth and last half marathon for the year. Each of these events has taught me something new and I thought I'd share my triumphs and failures for each of these events.

January - Walt Disney World Half Marathon
The first half marathon of the year took me to sunny Florida. Sunny, sure, but freezing cold. Who could have guessed I'd be in Florida and freezing during the entire race. Ice, sleet and even some snow greeted me in Florida. While I brought warmer gear than I normally use, I did not have enough warm clothes for this event. Regardless, the event went on and it was here that I finished my third half marathon ever (with a lot of thanks to Jeff W for keeping me going).

In addition, this trip prompted me to sign up for the Dopey Challenge. What was I thinking?

Lesson Learned: Never underestimate the power of the weather. Even sunny Florida can be cold and your normal cold weather gear may not be sufficient. Pack for anything :)!

March - Run for Ryan House Half Marathon
My first non-Disney half marathon and one that was right here at home. I saw the elevation map - I knew it was going to be tough. It was a small event, only about 450 runners. After three miles I seriously considered quitting. The hills were never ending and this was just the beginning. I stuck it out, cheering those that were way faster than me and finding out just how mentally tough I can be when the body has had enough.

Lesson Learned: I am no good at hills and need to work on this a lot. At the time I didn't know how much I could improve by shortening my stride and keeping my posture upright. This works great for up and down hills.

September - Disneyland Half Marathon
My second time to do this half marathon and I was nervous. I didn't know if I could do this one. Training hadn't been going as well as I wanted this year, my weight is up and I'm just nervous about finishing. The race day came and my knees were hurting pretty bad. Bio Freeze was helping, but I knew that there was no way I was going to be doing any running. I had to make the decision to walk the entire race and just enjoy the experience. It was a slow finishing time, but I had a great time and it got me the Coast to Coast medal!

Lesson Learned: Sometimes you just don't think you can do it, but you can. Readjust your plans, go with the flow and you just may have the best race experience you've ever had. I met a ton of new and interesting people, encouraged others that were having a hard time and finished with a smile on my face despite the blisters ;)!

October - Wine and Dine Half Marathon
Back to Florida and I can tell you that this time it wasn't freezing! It was pretty warm and humid - much more what I would expect from Florida. This was my first night race - a true learning experience. Not only was it my first night race, but I also ran a 5K that same morning. The half marathon started great. I was feeling pretty good and ready to run. I started out strong, kept to my run/walk intervals and made it 5.5 miles before disaster struck. All of a sudden my stomach was cramping so bad it almost doubled me over. I started walking and just kept going 1 mile at a time until it was finally over. Many times on this course I contemplated quitting. If the sweepers would have been by me I'm not even sure I would have argued a couple of times, but I persevered once again and using my mind got through a tough race.

Lesson Learned: Fueling for a night race is completely different. I didn't eat any real meals before the race and that left my stomach a bit too empty. The race started and I was drinking water and Accelerade. I'm pretty sure the combination on an empty stomach is what caused my problems during the race.

November - Women's Half Marathon
Another inaugural event and another at home race. This time my friend was doing this race and it was her very first half marathon. It was my job to get her through this race and get her a medal. She hadn't done a lot of training - 10 miles over a month ago her last training walk. We were walking this entire course and there was a 20 minute per mile pace. It was a tough course in spots with a couple of good hills and weird zig zagging from miles 9 - 11. I did my job and kept her motivated and going through the entire race and it was tough at times. This was a slow race taking almost 4 hours to complete, but I have to say I wasn't sore after we were done :)!

Lesson Learned: It was quite interesting being the cheer leader and motivator. It certainly made me not worry about what I was doing at all and put my energy in keeping my friend going. I did find it hard at times to maintain the slower pace and I really would have liked to kick up the pace a few times. The joy was getting her all the way to the finish line and getting that medal put around her neck. I can see why people like being a pacer, but it would take me a lot of practice to keep a consistent enough pace to do it!

Well, that's where I've been this year. Now I look forward to my next great challenge - the Dopey Challenge. It's coming up pretty quickly and I keep facing new challenges every time I put on the shoes. I have high hopes of finishing and I know I'll need my physical and mental strength to get it done!


Richard said...

You have had an awesome year and are poised for even greater accomplishments next year. The most important lesson you learned is that there is pretty much always a lesson to be learned.

raeplace said...

I have to say, you are awesome. You did the races even without training like the year before.
I am glad you are learning from them. And hoping this new year will bring bigger and better things for us all.
It will be great to see you again.

Chris said...

You certainly have a closet full of hardware to show for all the races, any plans on a display case or something? They are too cool to keep out of sight!

Pedal to the medal, biggest challenge coming up quickly in January!

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