I recently registered for a marathon and have started my training plan for it. As such, I’ve started considering my upcoming halfs as “training runs.” I know this is typical, but I still have this sense of Who am I trying to kid? when I run. Because this didn’t feel like training.
My training after Arizona was inconsistent. (pretendstobeshocked.gif) This is something I’m taking steps to work on. First of all, I have to. With a marathon in October, I have to really focus on training (and eating!). Plus, I know what it’s like to run a race without having trained, and it is miserable. I can’t and don’t want to imagine trying a marathon without sufficient training.
Second of all, I’ve decided to limit my races so that the earliest will take place in April. I really struggle with cold running and finding motivation for physical activity at all in the winter months. Using a treadmill isn’t any better. This may change as I become a more consistent runner, but right now it’s the best decision.
I did train. Just not as much as I needed.
With that in mind, I was not hoping to PR. It was a cold day in Washington DC. I ran without music — the first time I’ve ever done so. I also ran without set intervals and just stopped to walk when I felt tired (aka most of the time).
This course started near the National Mall. The first three miles went by some monuments and Important Buildings, but I had hoped for a closer view. I think the marathoners probably had the better course for this. They were also rough on my body, but I was at a decent pace that gave me some hope. I really need to be better about warming up before a race because it wasn’t until mile four that my legs felt good.
We ran through a park. It was lovely and there was a nice dedication to fallen soldiers. The Blue Mile, I think it was called.
The Blue Mile ends with a hill. And the race knows how awful this hill is because they had volunteers lined from the bottom to the top, all holding American flags, and all cheering, “You can do it! One foot in front of the other! Don’t think about the hill! You got this!” Thank God for those volunteers, honestly. I wouldn’t have given up, but it was so nice to have them there.
The last few miles were through DC neighborhoods. It was nice, but they gotta call someone about their roads. When was the last time those potholes got looked at!? The best part about the neighborhoods were all the spectators who were offering beer and bourbon (bless!) and jamming out with the runners, even those of us in the back! That was really fun.
My ankles were killing me after mile six, but I was actually doing a decent job of still running in between my walks. According to RunKeeper, my splits weren’t bad at all! I think I was more consistent with my pacing!
I was disappointed with my time being a minute longer than Arizona. I didn’t expect to PR, but I did expect to shave off a few seconds at least. I’m going to try more runs without listening to music. I am going to be better about interval training though. I think if I had been using intervals, I would have done better.