What Have I Been Up To?

So it’s been awhile since I wrote about my half ironman. It was great, and I definitely appreciated the week of relaxation before I started working towards my next goal: a new half marathon PR in Atlanta on Thanksgiving!

I truly enjoyed triathlon training, but now that it’s cold and dark out, I don’t miss my bike or the pool so much. Plus, towards the end of training for the half ironman, I was pretty seriously jones-ing for a road race where I could just run fast and not have to worry about balancing my energy over three sports. Plus the RRCA (running coach certification) course I took in September (still need to write about that…) gave me some ideas for new workouts and got me even more excited for running.

For the past few years, my family has run the Thanksgiving Day half marathon and/or 5k in Atlanta. Sadly, I’ve been hurt for the past two years, but I’m hoping to make a comeback this year. After running several halfs under or near 1:41 over the past few years, I would really love a fresh PR. Eric has offered to pace me, though how well that will work out remains to be seen. I’m aiming to break 1:39, which means 7:33 miles. That pace is definitely attainable on a good day (meaning, temperature above freezing and everything going well). Eric thinks we can do better than that.

What training have I done to transition from half ironman to half marathon? While I’m the certified coach in the relationship, Eric assigned me my one speed workout per week, length of each long run, and total miles per week. After a week of rest and easy running after the triathlon, I transitioned to a 25 mile week, with a base-setting workout of 2 x 1-mile repeats on a track. The first I ran at 7:20, the second at 6:35. Annnd I haven’t seen paces like that 6:35 since.

Total miles per week and the length of the long run have increased each week. Other key workouts have included: fartlek of 8 x (2 minutes on, 3 minutes off); 4 x 1 mile repeats; 6 mile tempo run; and 8 x 800s. This morning was the 6 mile tempo run on a local track in 23 degree weather. That is painfully cold. How do people live further north than North Carolina?? It took me about 45 minutes to convince myself to get out the door. The only thing that helped was knowing that it’s light in the morning and dark after work, and it’s much harder for me to get motivated to run after work in the cold and dark. That and the fact that I’d be late to work if I put it off any longer.

So here we are, two weeks out from the race. I’ll do a 15 mile long run this weekend and the 8 x 800s next week. I’ve never aimed for a PR on 6 weeks of training, but I hope it’ll be enough when combined with all the base building I did over the summer and fall. And then I will enjoy the best meal of the year!

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