A head-clearing race

In the past couple of months I have had so many moments in which I could not wrap my head around anything that was going on. Then, around mile 10 on Sunday, everything suddenly seemed so clear. In my race recap this week I talked about how in the last 5k of Shamrock I seemed stuck in one gear. I realize now that this whole "one gear" thing comes from something that's been going on for a while both mentally and physically that I am now working to change or improve.

Cleveland Marathon logoDual training is not for me Signing up for a marathon when I was so intent on a goal in a half marathon was a huge mistake. In a few of my long runs, I've asked myself which race that run was for.

In a way I'm glad that I pushed myself beyond the half marathon distance a few weeks ago – it made me not think so much about the distance I was covering Sunday.

In many ways, though, I have struggled with the marathon training aspect because I really needed more miles both in long runs and overall mileage. Two weeks ago, for example, I probably should have been running 16 miles for my weekly long run; this week should have been about 18.

A PR in Shamrock always trumped marathon goals though. I have no regrets with that at all.

I think I made this decision while I was running Sunday, but this week I officially changed my marathon entry for Cleveland to the half marathon. Much more on that in a future post.

Shamrock 8k leaders

Need for speed I know I haven’t talked about individual workouts too much here, but a quick look at my dailymile workouts are revealing – while I'm a good 20 seconds faster per mile on regular runs than a year ago, I have once again fallen into a trap of one speed all the time.

I have to push myself more. For the first time in nearly 5 years, I will be hitting the track soon. I've used the inconvenient 10-minute drive to my local high school as an excuse for too long.

There are 8 weeks until Cleveland, which is plenty of time to get a few quality track workouts in. If I'm going to run sub 1:40 in a half marathon soon, I need to know what that speed really feels like.

Continue the core There’s no question that push-ups and other core work have helped me tremendously in recent months. This will continue.

Where's the bike? I will dust off my bike. Remember this post about getting a bike helmet? Yeah, I still haven't hit the road with my bike yet.

myfitnesspal appGet in my belly I need to continue to eat better. I've set the wheels in motion this year with eating better and getting back to better portion control.

I still need some work with that, and over the next several weeks I want to lose a few more pounds and get to Cleveland feeling even better than I do now.

For help, I have downloaded the myfitnesspal app for my iPhone. I need to see where I am screwing up in the eating department and will use this as a tool to continue to improve.

Advice No. 1: Have fun "Have fun" is my go-to final words for other runners. While I thoroughly enjoyed Shamrock and all its surrounding festivities, somewhere along the way I started taking the race too seriously.

While I have laid out some things in this post that will make me focus even more, I am doing a couple of races soon in which I'm not pressuring myself to PR. In fact, I couldn't PR in them if I tried.

I’ll talk about that more in a later post, but I need these events to get back to the true fun part of doing a race. I did that several months ago with my series of 5ks, but I have drifted a bit from my main reason of running.

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It’s funny how my best race of my life has made me feel this week. I have this feeling of having some potential for some great things yet to come, and for the first time in a while I know what I really need to do. ...