Okay, so I finally did the math on how much time I have before the Royal Victoria Half Marathon (RVHM) - turns out it's six weeks. Hmmm...
I've run several half marathons before, so I'm not really worried about how much time is left to train. I did think that perhaps to have a bit of structure in my training might not be a bad idea. I was at work when this thought popped in my head so I decided to google 'Half Marathon Training Plans' and lo and behold up popped some for the RVHM! Well how convenient is that?!
They had three plans. I read the first one, it was for people who had never done a half marathon before and just wanted to finish. That's not me. The next was for people who had run half marathons before and wanted a personal best. Well, that would be me, but I'm six weeks out so I didn't feel the plan would be helpful.
I was starting to feel like Goldilocks now. The first one was too small...the next one was too big...what would the third plan be? The title of the plan caught my attention, it was the 'Just In Time' plan. Well now, that would appear to be my situation. Funny thing was that it started 15 weeks from the race. Huh. Fifteen weeks is so not 'just in time'. Now 6 weeks is another story!! I checked out the schedule and it seem reasonable. I have been running the last little while, albeit not consistently, but I should be okay to jump right in - I hope.
I decided to start the plan yesterday. It called for some speed work in a pyramid. I was to warm up, then run at my 5km race pace (anyone happen to know what that is?!) for a minute. Then run easy for a minute, run at race pace for two minutes, easy for one, hard for three, easy for one, then go down in the pyramid.
It seemed reasonable; however as I started running I knew my body wasn't up for speed work. I had nigglies and stiffness. Other than the hill training on Wednesday it'd been a bit since I worked out. Believe it or not I was recovering from Penticton. Yes, even spectators and cheer squads need recovery! It's just that our recovery is much shorter than the amazing Ironman athletes that worked their butts off last Sunday.
I decided I'd skip the speed work and just run for an hour to get my body back in the groove. That worked for me and I felt pretty good.
Today's plan called for a 15 km run at an aerobic pace. Okay, I know that pace. Actually I don't know the pace per se, but I know what I have to keep my heart rate. Easy schmeasy.
The first thing I noticed when I opened my house door to head out on my run was that it was raining. And mixed in with the rain was wet snow. I won't bother repeating the explitives that escaped my mouth. It's August 31 for crying out loud!!! Maybe I should consider moving somewhere warmer?! But I digress.
I was a bit chilled when I first started out, but warmed up fairly well just a little bit into my run. I actually dusted off the Garmin so I could tell when I hit 7.5 km and could turn back. I didn't keep track of my pace or anything as I ran though. I just kept an eye on my heart rate. I truly am not fond of wearing a ton of technology when I train. I just go by feel. It works for me.
I followed the path around town as I typically do. Some sections were pretty gushy and mucky from the rain, but it wasn't too icky. I was surprised at how many other runners there were out there! We have some hardcore people in wee Cochrane. I ran into a couple of my friends, Ken and Dr. Phil, who were out running together. Ken's comment was 'Look, another idiot just like us!' Too funny.
My run went quite well. It was a little after the halfway mark that my muscles and knees started complaining about the cold. My leggings weren't thick enough I suppose. I was able to ignore the grumbling for the most part. Hopefully as I run more there will be less creaking and groaning of muscles. As I neared home, I kept thinking to myself, how cool is it that I have the fitness to go out and run 15km like this?!
When I got home I decided to look at my Garmin just for shites and giggles. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the breakdown of information. Turns out I ran 15 km in 1:41 hours with an average pace of 6:45 min/km. This was with an average heart rate of 138 bpm! That's pretty cool for me! Especially because that distance and time included two hills, the Bonus Hill and the Beast. Oh and let's not forget the few moments I stopped to snuggle with a 2 month old puppy that I came across. It had to be done!
Who knows, maybe I'll actually break that 2 hour marker this year in Victoria. That would be quite cool. You never know what race day will bring though, I could eat bad oatmeal or something in the morning and be plagued by the necessity to use every porta potty on the course. So if I don't run it under 2 hours, it's no biggie, eventually it will happen for me. I'm just really stoked that my training information tells me that I'm slowly improving!
I need to try and warm up now. Brrrrr...
Peace out my loving friends - and stay warm!