Half Marathon Training: Week 8

Aaand I did it again. I failed to read the schedule at the beginning of the week and, as a result, missed what was supposed to be a 10K race day on Sunday.

Although if I’m being honest, I probably wouldn’t have run in a race anyways. Just trying to keep it real here, folks. Running a race in place of a long run is just a suggestion anyways so I’m not too worried that I skipped out on it.

I mentioned in last week’s recap that I wanted to try to run on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so that I would have 2 rest days before my long run on Saturday. I thought that this method would leave me with “fresh” legs and would keep any soreness at bay. In theory, this is a solid plan, but in practice it ended up being a little too much for the ol’ muscles. I had gone on my long run the previous Saturday and then I cross-trained on Sunday, and going out for a run on Monday just didn’t give me enough time to recover.

Let’s break it down, shall we? Here is what was on the schedule for the week:

-Rest
-3 mile run
-5 mile run
-3 mile run
-Rest
-“10K race” (that’s in quotes because I didn’t do it.)
-Cross train

And here is what I did:

Monday
What I did: 4 mile run
As I mentioned above, I wanted to try to get my short runs in early in the week to give myself some time to rest up for my long run on Saturday. I was a little sore (my shins and my right knee were hollering a little bit) so I went out knowing that I would take it easy if necessary. I was all sorts of hopped up on secondhand Marathon energy though, so I was ready to run. The run itself was good; even though I had a few aches, they went away after about half a mile and my breathing was under control. I was happy with my pace and I felt as though I could have run longer. HOWEVER. Once I stretched and cooled off, my aches came back stronger than ever. This led me to believe that I should have taken the day off to give myself more time to recover from Saturday’s run. Live and learn.

Tuesday
What I did: rest

Wednesday
What I did: 4.5 mile run
Today’s run was good! I had to hustle through it a little because I was meeting some friends for dinner, which ended up being a good thing. I was pleased with my pace and, like Monday, felt as though I could have run longer. My shins didn’t really bother me too much and I felt good afterwards.

I took Thursday and Friday off in hopes that my legs would feel good for my long run on Saturday. I was bummed that I missed out on a shorter run but I wanted to make sure that I felt good for Saturday since last week’s long run wasn’t stellar.

Saturday
What I did: 11 mile run
Welp, I’m not thrilled with how that went. Like last week, I was pleased with the distance but not pleased with the rest of it. It was really frustrating; I thought I was ready for this run mentally, but I just couldn’t hack it. I was only 3 or 4 miles into it and already felt like I had been running for hours. My legs felt heavy and I just felt like I couldn’t run anymore. It was tough to go from my two runs earlier this week where I felt like I could just keep going, to this run where I wanted to give up about 400 times. I would be cruising along and then my body would just up and quit. It’s no secret that running (for me, at least) is a silly mental game and I’m just really over-thinking these long runs. For next week’s long run, I have to stop looking at it as “1 mile down, 10 to go” and start thinking of it as a few 4-mile runs because that seems to be where I shine (relatively speaking – it’s a distance that I find has worked well for me lately). Hopefully I’ll trick myself and it will go better than the last few. Fingers crossed!

And I’m open to any tips from runners out there – how do you deal with not-so-great runs?

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