Last time I ran the SF RnR 1/2 Marathon, my longest training run for that race was 10K or 6.25 mile. I only gave myself 4 months to train, which proved to be insufficient, as life/sickness/traveling happened. I also learned it took time to condition the body.
I still finished the first 1/2 marathon and had the experience of my life. I must confess: after mile 8, I used mostly will power to finish the race. This time around, the second half marathon training, I gave myself more than 6 months. That proved to be a good move as I struggled with bronchitis for three weeks in June and was side tracked.
Finally, the “comeback” streak started with the 10K Bad Bass Brazen Race. At that race, I equalled my past training’s mark. The following weekend, I went out to Guadalupe Trail for 7 mile long run. It was not satisfactory because the heat got the best of me as well as the unfamiliarity of the trail. I still logged the miles in.
Just yesterday, I finished 8 miles on the more familiar territory of Los Gatos Creek Trail. I started from downtown Campbell and made my way to Lake Vasona in Los Gatos. I was thinking to myself “wow, I could now run from city to city” Something I heard other runners said in the past but never understood how that was possible.
I would admit that mile 7-8 was definitely challenging where I had to keep saying “stay strong, finish strong” as I was also practicing “giving all I have” on the last mile. I didn’t want to “struggle” on the last mile as I did on the last race. Finishing strong is a goal I have for this second 1/2 marathon!
I also learned from yesterday that going for the high milage, it was important to take it step by step. It was helpful for me to divide the milage into sections with my self talks. It was actually hilarious thinking back, I focused on getting four miles in (which was easy since I’ve done that many times). Then, I focused on getting to mile 6, also something I’ve done. Then to mile 7, which I told myself, okay, I JUST did that last week, easy! Then mile 8, I started saying “okay, this is the real training, just ONE mile, I can do it”.
I don’t know about other runners and how they “self motivate” but I talk to myself A LOT. It’s a good thing that at least I do it in my mind, otherwise, people would think I’m nuts! Hahaha! This week, I may consider doing 8 miles again just to make it a solid conditioning. This is another beauty of giving myself 6 months to train. I feel way more relaxed to adjust training with fluidity and flexibility. When I can, I accelerate with attending race and increase milage. And I when need it, I can repeat. I really think for novice runner (like myself), it’s important to give at least 30-40% buffer on recommended training plans. Life happens. And conditioning needs time to take place. It’s not a “run it, forget it” type of sports.
Finally, I’m super excited that training is more than half way with achieving mile 8! Yay!