Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Road to Dopey: Week 11 - A dozen halfs, a PR, and a racing hiatus

March Miles to Date: 33.0
March Average Pace: 14:06 min/mi
2016 Miles to Date: 90.3
Yoga/Strength Training Sessions this week: 2
Streak Day: 6
The American 200: 16.4 mi/200

Wow, where do I even start with this week? So much happened! Let's start with the stats above this text, since you may notice they've changed from how I've been reporting them for the past weeks. I've changed my workout schedule. My strength training wasn't happening on my run days so I moved it to my yoga days since the yoga routine I do is only 20 minutes and strength training is 10-15. Now both my workout days will be about the same length. "Streak Day" is also something I'm starting. I want to go on a 30 day workout streak, where I follow my workout calendar for 30 straight days. I fell like this will help me stay accountable. I can't excuse my way to Dopey. I have to actually train, because actually training pays off...which I'll get to in a minute.

Now, The American 200 is a virtual challenge I'm doing. Last week I completed The Texas 200, which was a virtual challenge to run 200 miles anywhere in the state of Texas. I barely completed it, thanks to all my training derailments last fall, but I did it. And in an effort to keep the accountability going, I signed up this week for The American 200, which is the same concept as the Texas 200, but I can run the miles anywhere in America, not just Texas. Which is good since there's a good chance I'm moving out of Texas before my 6 months on this challenge are up.

So, training this week. I started my streak on Tuesday, which means I ran all my training runs this week. I did my normal maintenance loop on Tuesday, still focusing on pacing myself, and on Thursday I did my hill routine. My hill routine may not be "hilly" enough, but it's the best I can do where I live right now, since the real hills don't have sidewalks.

Yesterday, I ran my 12th half marathon. It's also the last race I have officially scheduled for the foreseeable future. A bittersweet decision, but I know I have a lot of big things coming up, and focusing on training for Dopey is important. I know that I'll race again before Dopey (I'll need a POT after all), but who knows where or when that will be.

Originally, I had wanted to go sub-3 on my half yesterday, but I was concerned that wasn't going to happen since my training in February hadn't been as on point as January had been and March is shaping up to be. But like I told Catie, if I could have a well-paced race, I would be happy. So when I went to the starting line yesterday morning, that was all I hoped for: a well-paced race.

Well I got it, with the exception of the middle of the race, where I slowed significantly taking the hills, I ran a pretty consistent mile (~14 min). As my running app told me the time on mile 12, I started to cry a little and I texted Catie: I think I'm going to PR. When I made it to the bridge (on the other side of which was my finish line) I dug in deep and headed up and over. As I reached the crest of the bridge, I could see the clock and I could see that my PR was mine! I ran to the finish and crossed in 3:11:27, shaving 6 minutes off my PR for a half! Again, not sub-3 and still a long way to go to where I want to be...but it's a big deal for several reasons:

  1. It's a quite a bit! YAY!
  2. I ran my intervals for all 13 miles. This is the first time this has happened EVER. Normally by mile 11 at least I have to start walking, but I kept pushing forward and was running even at the end. 
  3. I only skipped a few on my running intervals, most of which were on the steeper parts of hills.
  4. I managed to pace myself so that I could make it to the finish, a first.
It may have taken 12 half marathons, but I finally figured out how to race.

And now we train.

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