Reader's Digest Version of the race:
1) I ate half of an egg sandwich on a whole wheat english muffin. I was NOT hungry.
2) The first four miles went according to plan.
3) My Crohn's got angry.
4) I told it to shut up.
5) It was really crowded. The whole freaking time.
6) I leaped across the finish line with a crazed smile on my face.
7) I didn't PR or break my 2 hour goal.
In the past six weeks, I've cut back on my running to about twice a week. But don't worry! I've amped up my cycling, my weight training, and my yoga. And I feel so much better than I did the week leading up to my race in March.
That realization got me thinking about one of the first long runs I did to train for the National Half. I ran 8 miles at around an 8:30 pace. It was one of the fastest long run I did leading up to the race and you know what? That was after I had done a bunch of yoga and cross training that winter, with some running mixed in.
So for my next half marathon, I think I'm going to take a different approach to my training. At this point, I know that I can run 13.1 miles. What I need to do now is focus on what will make me a strong runner.
That all said, here's my master plan.
1) Run three times a week.
Two runs during the week and one long run on the weekend. I think if I use these runs wisely and use the extra time that I would have spent getting training runs in doing other workouts, I think it will make me a stronger, more efficient runner.
2) Speed, Stress, Slow.
Those are my three types of runs. One weekday run will be my race-pace "Speed" run, the other will be a "Stress" run such as hill repeats, interval training, or a tempo run. My weekend run will be a standard LSD (long slow distance) run that gets progressively longer leading up to race day. I think these will all complement each other and make each training run meaningful and *possibly* fun.
3) Weight train.
Only running three days a week leaves me some time to do other workouts besides running! Which I forget I love until I return to them after some sort of hiatus, like training for a half marathon. I love the feeling of sore muscles after weight training and I'm convinced that if I focus on strength as opposed to just endurance, it will improve my endurance as well.
4) Make time for yoga.
Yoga is the last piece of the puzzle for me. I love everything about it - it's challenging, meditative, strengthening, and humbling. But when I'm training for a race, it makes more sense for me to get a training run in in the 45 minutes that it would take me to do a yoga workout. I think that if I make it a priority it will pay off and ultimately make me a better runner.
Running makes me ravenous. And protein can be hard as a vegetarian. I'm already trying harder to incorporate more eggs, Greek yogurt, beans, lentils, nuts, and dark leafy greens (which are packed with protein) into my diet. Greek yogurt with slivered almonds is my new favorite snack.
So what's next on the docket? A DUATHLON. For as much as I love running, I think I might have been born to be on this bike. It's my newest obsession.
Anyone interested in a long ride this weekend? What about a duathlon? What half marathon are we going to run to test my new training plan?