This week I did the longest training run on my schedule: the 10 miler. Technically it wasn’t on the schedule until next week but I really just wanted to do it this week. It went pretty well – 107 minutes of fun!
I used this run to test out my race day hydration and feeding schedule:
- Pre-run: a bowl of oatmeal with honey and lots of water at least an hour before the run
- Run: a few ounces of water every mile and a gel pack with lots of water every 4 miles
- Post-run: 500 mL of gatorade and a banana right away, then more water
I’ll have more pre-run lead time on race day so I might also have a banana with breakfast. I haven’t tested out the sport beverage that will be available on course so I think I might just stay away from that.
So my week 16 total mileage was 20 miles (5+5+10) plus the stationary bike and weights on Wednesday and an ultimate game this afternoon.
If anyone is interested in reading some good running articles I highly recommend John Bingham’s column No Need for Speed from Runner’s World. One of my favourite articles is 13.1 and Done. Here’s an exert:
First off, the race isn’t half of a full marathon; it’s a full half-marathon. I’ve seen many marathoners, myself included, take the distance lightly, thinking it can be knocked out as a training run. It can’t. Some 10-K specialists think the half is like a really, really, long 10-K course. It isn’t. It isn’t like any other distance at all, not even its predecessor the 20-K. It is a race distance unto itself.
That’s right folks. I’m running a full half-marathon.
Earlier this week I got an email from the Vancouver Marathon with a bunch of links and information about the big day. One of the links was to the final course map (pdf). If you look at the bottom of the map you’ll see the elevation profile on which you’ll see a VERY BIG hill. The climb to Prospect Point is 200 feet covered in less than a mile! I knew this hill was on the course but I don’t think I’d really considered it in my training before.
This was a step back week so my Saturday “long run” was only 7 miles. I figured the shorter distance would be a perfect time to try to climb hill similar to the one on the course. It turns out there’s a hill near my place that has a 188 foot elevation covered in 0.9 miles. I bike up this hill on the way home from school and it kills me every time. Needless to say I was a little worried about running up it. Well running up it was way easier than biking up it. Probably because I’m in better running shape than biking shape. I think the Vancouver hill is steeper but making it up this hill without too much difficulty was a huge confidence booster.
For the record the final mileage for week 15 was 21.5 miles (5+5+7+4.5).
Three weeks to go!
On Saturday I set a new personal distance record and ran 9 miles (14.5 km). My total mileage for the week was 19 miles. This is a bit less than last week because instead of running on Sunday I played in an ultimate frisbee game. I discovered that playing ultimate is much different from long distance running! It’s a lot of sprinting and quick changes of direction and my legs aren’t used to that anymore! On the plus side I think both my foot speed and overall fitness have improved so that has to help my ultimate game.
The half-marathon is one month from today! My training is going really well (thus far I’ve avoided major injury and I’m right on schedule) but now I’m starting to think more about race day logistics. I of course want to be super prepared. Here are a few of the things that I’ve been thinking about (usually during a run actually) over the past week.
What am I going to wear during the race? My plan is to bring a wide selection of running clothing with me to Vancouver and make a final decision the night before the race. I want to be prepared for any weather.
What should I eat the morning of the race? I think I’ll bring instant oatmeal with me to the hotel and hope there’s a coffee maker to get hot water out of. I might eat a banana too but the fact of the matter is I’ll probably be too nervous to eat much and I really don’t want to cramp up because of a full stomach.
What will I do to warm up? Very little. I’m not going to waste a mile or two of running on warm up. I’ll need that mile during the race! I’ll try to keep my muscles warm but there will be no big warm up like before a 5km.
What pace am I going to run at? I’ve said many times that I don’t have a time goal for the race. I just want to finish. That being said I still need to decide what pace to aim for. There are a number of calculators on the web where you enter a previous shorter distance race time and it tells you what a reasonable half-marathon time would be. I’ve done this and all the half-marathon paces seem too quick! My current plan is to aim for 11:30 – 12 min/mile over the first half of the race and then go from there. It’s better to start slow and finish fast. Or maybe just start slow and finish slow!
What am I going to eat/drink during the race? I’ve got my favourite brand of gels selected so there’s my source of calories. My plan is to take in a gel at miles 5 and 10. I’ll probably just stick with water in terms of hydration but there will be sports drink available on course. I’m going to have to test out the brand of sports drink first though because I have a sensitive stomach while running.
How am I going to meet up with people after the race? OK this one has me stressed out. My sister is going to come cheer me on and my friend Leah is running the marathon. There’s talk that a few other people from Seattle might also come up so I imagine finding everyone after the marathon ends might be a little difficult.
What am I going to do when this is all over? Short term I’m going to take some time off from running. Maybe a week or two depending on how I’m feeling. Then I’m going to prepare to run a 10km with my sister in mid-June. That will be more about maintaining fitness than gaining it though so I don’t think it will be a big deal. After that who knows.
There’s not much new and exciting to report on the training front. This was just another week of putting in the miles. My week 13 total mileage was 21 miles (4.5+4.5+8+4) plus some cross training and weight training at the gym on Wednesday. Friday was a running rest day but my Dad and I took a late afternoon walk around Green Lake. Green Lake is particularly beautiful this time of year since the cherry trees are in blossom and the daffodils are in full bloom. Spring has definitely arrived in Seattle.