2nd Half Marathon Done…. Next One In Six Days!

2nd Half Marathon Finished!

2nd Half Marathon Finished!

Sunday morning I finished my second half marathon, my first being on Thanksgiving day last year.   Sadly my finish time for this half was pretty much the same, even a bit slower than my last half marathon. While I am pleased with my overall run and the finish, I am a bit dissapointed in the lack of seeing any progress.  I know I have only been running for a year and that my endurance has skyrocketed.  I just feel so slow and like improvement is being elusive.

I have mentioned my concerns and disappointments in not seeing much progress after a year of running.  I know I can go further than I used to go, but I still finish races in about the same time as a year ago.  This lack of apparent progress is distressing.  Of course I only recently started a regimented half marathon training program with my April half marathon as the goal race.  I guess with only a month and some of my current program I cannot be too quick to assume noticeable progress.

Last month I recorded my first 80 mile month and I am now shooting for this goal each month.  I am working on my consistency.  Additionally I do two speed variety workouts a week and a long workout each week.  Everything I have researched tells me that if I follow this plan I should see some success.  At this point I am second guessing my reliance on run/walk breaks and their effects.  Are they causing slower gains?

MainIn this last half marathon I tried to break free of the 1:1 run walk break ratio I usually use on long runs, trying a mix of 4:1 and 2:1 intervals.  I tried to run longer on the downhills and stick to shorter intervals on the hills and straight aways.  In the end I ended finishing right at the same time I finished my last half marathon a few months ago and my legs feel dead and sore.  Could it have been the effects of running 15 miles last week and then doing little because of being snowed in? Was it the intervals?  Hills and elevation?  I really do not know.

coursesplitsWhat I know right now is that for all of January I put in the work to run consistently and I worked hard on my hard speed days.  I tried to vary my long days with only one of every three or four weeks being a distance push week.  I know that I can run and slog though 15 miles and while I want to get faster, I also want to get up to 20.  I have two more months of laid out workouts in my current plan and I have reduced the run/walk ratios during weekday workouts.  I guess I just have to follow the plan I laid out and do the work and hopefully with time I will see the results I desire.

For now I am recovering, pleased with the completion of a second half marathon.  I also know next week I have a trail half marathon and I look forward to the challenge of two half marathon races days apart.  I realize now that the adrenaline and finish line of Sunday’s race pushed me harder than when I am running for miles on my own and that I will need the week to get recovered as much as possible for this next half next Saturday.

For now I am just going to follow my plan and get to the last half marathon in April and the start of my triathlon season.  Then I will reevaluate and shift focus.  But now is not the time to abandon the plan I set out to finish April’s half marathon.  For not its time to do the work and expect to see results with time.  For now I just need to put my head down and work the process.  Til next time.

 

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17 comments

  1. Don’t get discouraged…consistency is key and sometimes it takes way too long to see the progress that is actually happening before your eyes. Also keep in mind, its near impossible to compare the results of 1 race to another. Even IF its the same course there are so many variables (weather, terrain) outside of your fitness than can cause your times to be worse….or better! Keep doing what your doing…trust me, its working! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the support, really planned on doing a race report and just vented frustrations. Happens., its the hardest part of being a self coached athlete (aspiring?). With a coach they lay out the workout and you just have to trust they are making the decisions. Self trained means you yourself are responsible for the workouts and progress and you just have to put your head down and trust your research and planning will pay off in the long run.

  2. Well done for completing your second half marathon! That is quite an achievement in itself and something to be very proud of. As for the training, frustrating as it is at times, I guess you just have to trust the program. The faster times will come. 🙂

    1. Thank you. Gonna be a fun week as my next, the third is only a few days away. I know that even though I am slow, I can run and push myself for 4 hours (running and walking) straight. That fuels most of my runs.

  3. You were awesome this weekend. It can be frustrating, but before you know it you will havea breakthrough.

    1. I know, just venting. It was a good day and I was so glad all of yall were there at the end. I was slow, but I ran my race. Even if I never get faster I love going the distance. Your too kind.

  4. Congratulations on finishing your 2nd half marathon! Wow! 🙂 Awesome :D.

    1. Thank you, sounds like you are becoming quite a runner yourself.

      1. I’m slowly but surely hitting some targets now. I’d love to be able to complete a half marathon!

        1. Keep working at it and you will get there. While I am not fast it is empowering knowing I can run/walk for four hours.

  5. Congrats on the race. I echo everyone above, finishing a half marathon is a feat in its-self.

    To see the gains from hard training (which 2 speed workouts and a long run equal) I reckon a planned taper is needed. A purposeful reduction in volume and intensity between 4-10 days out will help your body rest before the race. Joe Friel explains it better than I can ever hope to (http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2013/04/tapering-and-peaking-review.html).

    Keep pushing. You will see the results soon enough.

    1. Steve I totally agree with you on the taper and the ice and snow we had forced me into a no workout taper. On Friday I got a bit of a light run in, but my training this month has been trashed by weather and these races. Its definitely been a fun ride so far.

  6. […] 2nd Half Marathon Done…. Next One In Six Days! […]

  7. hey man… keep it up… you’re on the right track… it may sound counter intuitive, but shorter, faster runs are the way to build your speed and distance from my experience. so many of us worry about the distance, but it’s the body’s threshold that we need to push to make our slower pace feel easier. don’t beat yourself up over times…keep the belief, that’s most important.

    1. Thanks Mike. I think 40 years as a couch potato leaves room for allot of catch up work and I think it will take more than a year to do it. I am keeping my head up and plodding on. For now I am sticking with my plan and hoping to see it all come together in the end.

  8. […] week I posted about my second half marathon road race, the Locomotive Half Marathon (read it here) and briefly mentioned the fact I had another half marathon only six days after.  This weekend I […]

  9. […] only six days after a road half marathon.  The road half marathon was ran in a 3:14:00  time(details here).  The trail half marathon a week later proved to be a very different challenge that took some […]

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