I started a week later than planned, but training for the July 15th Napa2Sonoma Half Marathon is officially underway. Trying to start training the week of the Girls on the Run 5K was not a good idea. Last week my workouts pretty much consisted of loading and unloading race equipment and running around the race site. I did sneak in a few shorter runs, but nothing groundbreaking.
So far this week I did a 3 mile easy run with Cash and then 3 miles of speedwork before tackling today’s 8 miler. I wasn’t sure how the run would go since I haven’t run further than 4 miles since my April 1st 10 miler. After that race I had big plans to stay in race shape and still do a weekly long-ish run until I jumped back into formal training. Fail!
I was looking forward to the run this morning because I really enjoy training. I like having a purpose to my workouts and a goal in mind. I am much more motivated when I have a structure and plan to follow rather than just the mentality of “I should do something”. While I was excited, I had no expectations for pace and even told myself that cutting back to 7 miles would be okay.
I woke up at 6, made my coffee, hopped on my 6:30 weekly conference call, ate my PB and banana toast and headed out the door at 7:30 – right on schedule. The weather was perfect – sunny, still a little cool, light breeze. The first half mile was tough – everything felt heavy and slow and I wasn’t sure how 8 miles would go if that continued.
Luckily, I just had to get some cobwebs out, and by mile 1, I was feeling pretty good. I remained cautiously optimistic until the halfway point where I had a Hammer Gel and headed home. At that point, my pace was 9:43 which I was pleased with. I would have been happy with anything until 10 minutes at this point. Once I hit mile 5, I really fell into my groove and cruised home. The last 2 miles I kicked it into high gear and really wanted to finish strong.
I finished in 1:16:52 for a 9:36 pace. I was very happy with that! Decent pace, negative splits and felt good the whole time. Can’t ask for much more on the first long run of training after a month hiatus from long runs. A great start to training. 10 more weeks till race day!
Some other thoughts on half marathon training:
- At the beginning of the year, I set out to PR at N2S. That is still my goal, but I am going to have to really focus on my training. My schedule this summer is really filling up fast with Bachelorette parties, weddings, road trips, work trips and more. I have all of these worked into my schedule, I just need to really focus on it and stay committed and do all that I can while I have the time.
- In order to get faster and break 1:57 (hopefully 1:55), I am going to really focus on speedwork, hills and increasing my total weekly miles. To get better I need to run more – doing the same thing won’t change anything.
- Food is fuel, not just for fun. This will be hard with the weddings and traveling, but eating what my body needs to perform is what is most important.
- Efficient cross training – I have one day of yoga and one day of cycling built into my training to keep me healthy, limber and keep my weight down (hopefully).
Here is what my typical training week looks like:
Monday: Speedwork or hills
Wednesday: Easy medium distance run
Friday: Long Run
Saturday: Bike or Rest
Sunday: Easy 3-4 miles