Half Marathon Lessons and Marathon Decisons

I’ve been meaning to write a post about what went into choosing my next two my next two marathons. I made the decision about a month ago and figured I should get this post up before I post my next weekly recap which will bear the title of the next race I’m training for.

I also wanted to reflect a little more on Saturday’s half marathon. I could have added this reflection to the recap but it was pretty lengthy already. I’ll start with the reflection.

I raced that half marathon better than most taxes I’ve run. As I dive head first into an aggressively ambitious new training plan, I want to reflect on a few things to better incorporate them into my upcoming training cycle.

The first is hydration. I mentioned this in the recap. I’m fairly certain that a lot of my crash-and-burn tendencies at the end of longer races comes from improper hydration. Before last Saturday, I made it a point to not take in any liquid between waking up and starting the race. Dumb. I know. I didn’t want the inconvenience of standing in bathroom lines prior to or during the race. This time though, I changed it up. Before leaving the house I drank a small glass of water and took (or tried to take) water at every stop. I know this contributed to my ability to finish the race strong.

On the downside though, I am really bad at drinking from a cup while running. Thus, I did slow down to a walk to make sure that I got the water in my mouth not down my front. While this didn’t add much time to my race, I’d like to eliminate the need. I just bought a handheld water bottle which I hope to start testing soon. Hopefully it will make hydrating easier, especially for summer runs, even the short ones.

The other reflection from the race has to do with hills and my lack of appropriate training. I knew going into the the that I hadn’t trained well enough for them, thus preparing myself for decreased performance. However, when racing to PR, it’s important to know the course well in advance so that I can train for that course specifically. A few more hills interval runs and I might have been able to get that sub 1:45.

Now…the marathon. It’s been weird not training for a spring marathon. After the knee thing and mild burn out post-MCM, it was the right thing to do. However, the urge to search for a spring marathon hasn’t gone away. I’ve just substituted making plans for my next two marathons, something that couldn’t be finalized until after NYCM lottery day.

I also had to consider my Italy trip aka the graduation gift that’s been waiting for just about a year. The more I thought about how I would work the trip into the training plan, the more I realized that it wasn’t going to work. This fall marathon will be my first BQ attempt. I don’t want to scrimp on training or on the trip. The only way I could see to make this work would he to run the marathon and then fly to Italy.

Then came NYCM lottery day aka the only day I look forward to a $250 charge on my credit card. I didn’t get lucky. If I had, I would have posted about it much sooner. That meant I had to choose a different race but none of them seemed to work with the trip. On a whim I looked up the date of the Rome Marathon. March. This could work.

A few quick texts later and it was decided. We’re pushing the trip to next spring and starting it with a marathon. I think this just might become a habit for me.

That decision opened up the fall marathon calendar. My friend (and new running coach!) Matt suggested Twin Cities. (He’s running it too.) I did a little digging and discovered that it couldn’t be more perfect. It’s at the end of my fall vacation week. It’s relatively flat and in a new (to me) state.

So, here’s the schedule. On July 27th I’ll toe the line at the San Francisco Half Marathon (2nd) hoping for a sub 1:40. Two months later, October 5th, I’ll make my first BQ attempt at Twin cities. In spring 2015 I get to start and finish a marathon by the Coliseum. (If everything goes as planned I’m also penciling in Chicago 2015 and Boston 2016.) I’m marathon hungry and ready to go for it!

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2 Comments

Filed under marathon, running

2 responses to “Half Marathon Lessons and Marathon Decisons

  1. I am excited to hear you are working with Matt! I think that will be great for you. He is such a great guy and really knows his stuff! Can’t wait to see how that works out!!

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