Monday, July 7, 2014

Half Marathon On My Mind

In my perfect world, every weekend would be a long weekend. Isn't it amazing what a difference an extra day (or two!) off makes? I could get used to all this extra time to relax!

But all good things must come to an end eventually and today it's back to following a schedule. Here's this week's training plan:

Monday: 8 mile run + Strides
Tuesday: 10 mile workout, inc. hills + half marathon pace work
Wednesday: 6 mile runch; Y-Fuse + Absolution
Thursday: 8 mile run; Y-Blitz + Y-Kettle Bell
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 11 mile run
Sunday: 7 mile run

Total: 50 miles

So, the main thing on my mind right now is the Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon, which is in just two weeks. Although I love this race because of the fun course, fantastic crowd energy, great expo, organization, etc., half marathons and I don't get along. I've tried so hard to like them but nearly every time I've tried to race this distance, it hasn't gone well.

I think I just about died during the 2012 Chi RNR

For whatever reason, racing a marathon doesn't scare me nearly as much as racing a half marathon. I think it's all about perspective. I've never had a bad marathon. I've only completed two and I didn't race either one so both were good experiences. I've felt fatigue at the end but never the pain that comes with putting your all into the miles. And with the half marathon, I've done that and it hasn't been pretty. Last year, I even had to take a break from the distance and although I did two, I used both as training runs and ran at whatever pace felt easy and comfortable.

Taking it easy at last year's Strider Half Marathon

But ... I think this year's Chi RNR might be different. I'm feeling more confident in my running than ever before thanks to the awesome Coach Matt and Thunderdome Running, and taking down my old - as in first year of running old - half marathon PR seems possible. It's not going to feel great during the race, but it sure will feel great after if I can somehow muster up a successful half marathon. So I'm going to go for it!

Anything can happen on race day. I'm choosing to believe in the wonderful :) 

My questions for you:
  • Half marathons - love em or hate em? Why?
  • Have you ever had a race disaster? If so, what happened?
  • Have you ever suffered a blow to your running confidence? If so, how did you restore it?

- ST


  1. I just remembered that you don't like half marathons, I know you've said it before in a post(s), but I completely forgot. I feel good about this race of yours coming up so you should too. You've put in some great workouts and long runs with some great solid work incorporated into them. And you have a great mindset about it, believing you will is half the battle or more. So you are all set to go get that PR! I nominated you for the inspiring blogger award for some of these reasons :)

    Even though I've only ran it once, I LOVED the half marathon distance. But my first one was a good experience, so yeah that definitely can contribute to it. I'm hoping I'll like the marathon just as much as you do! :). I try to remember that a bad race(s) doesn't mean I'm a bad runner, now if I had race after race after race that was terrible that might be a different story, I used to hate the 3k in track because I never did that well, then we had a conference meet and I had to race the 5k the day before, so I just relaxed about it, tried not to concentrate on how much a hated the distance, and just tried to have fun with it while giving it my best and I ended up getting a PR. I think you'll surprise yourself with this upcoming half :).

    1. Lots of great points, Hailey! I think you're right that relaxing and trying to have fun while giving your best is key to a great race. It's hard to do with race nerves but I'm going to try to focus on one mile at a time and not look too far ahead in the race :)

  2. Oh wow two weeks! This marathon is creeping right up! I agree with Hailey...your workouts have been so impressive! I think you are so well prepared and I can't wait to hear all about it.

    As far as half marathons go, I've only ever run in one organized one. Not because I hate them. I just don't really seek them out as a distance I care to do all that often. I'd like to get at least one more under my belt this year if I can.

    1. Thank you! I hope I can make you gals proud at the race!

      I know what you mean about not seeking the distance out - it seems like a lot of events offer a few distance options and I usually opt for the 5k! :)

  3. I was just looking at that race online today and considering it! I'm in no shape to race 13 miles but I know I can run 8 or 10 and I could walk some. :) Is that crazy?

    I hope you have a great race. The course looks amazing! I love that area of Chicago.

    1. Not crazy at all, Jan! The course is awesome and lots of people walk some of the race. I think there is even a pace group that incorporates walking into the plan!

  4. i too am going to agree with everyone else. you're training has been spot on and your confidence is right there. you will do great at this race! just have fun and follow your goal. don't focus on the past and i'm sure that 13 will fly right by with no issue. the way i look at 1/2s is that i run that mileage all the time so speeding it up shouldn't really make that much of a difference, right? :)

    1. Haha, that's a good way of thinking about it, Nikki :) Best of luck at your race this weekend!