living in the now

Still rambling about running. Sometimes other things.

Filtering by Tag: half marathons

Running in the moment

Carytown 10k bib, Richmond, Va. In the past year and a half, I've had many thoughts about not wanting to do another marathon.

With the exception of the time I was running at Disney in January 2013, I've had no excitement about doing this distance since training ended in fall 2012.

Now that I have climbed my way out of a funk, I understand more and more than my funk lasted for so long because I felt like I should be training for a marathon, or maybe even beyond.

All other runs didn't seem as important without having a goal for 26.2 miles in mind. I got too caught up in other people's emotions and what it was like for them to hit goals for that distance.

I had a hidden secret that I was going to do the Blue Ridge Marathon this year; the reality is just before Shamrock I knew Blue Ridge wouldn't be able to happen. After realizing what I need to do just to perform better at a half, I opted to move along from cramming in more miles and instead focus on another half ... and then eventually knocking out a PR in the half and/or other distances.

While doing several quarter-mile intervals this morning, I realized even more that I'm just not excited about training for a marathon. I'm excited, though, about running faster. Out of nowhere, one of my intervals was in 1:47; they were all under 1:54.

When looking back at 10 years of running, the times I remember the most have been when I've gone for a PR at shorter distances.

Conquering the marathon distance for the first time in 2007 was definitely thrilling; breaking 4 hours in 2011 after an injury was amazing; doing Disney was quite magical; but my overall feeling toward long runs of 2-3 hours and 40-some mile weeks in the middle of summer (or winter) is not a positive one.

My last PR was in a 10K in May 2012, which came at the end of an awesome year-plus span of running. I know that I haven't peaked yet.

It's very possible that I take another 3-year break from the marathon like I did after 2007; the bug may bite me sooner; it may never bite again.

It feels so out of the ordinary and crazy to improve my 5K time and try to get it closer to 21 minutes; I need to find a 10K or two and go for 45 minutes; and, of course, I'd love to read 1:39:59 on a half marathon clock within the next year.

It's time for me to live in the moment and go for other things with running that, at least right now, are more exciting and feel right. Now I just have to figure out what to go for first.

Jazzed up about racing

For the first time in four years, I've done four races in the first half of the year. There's something about the variety of races I've done this year that have me really wanting to do more as I train for the Baltimore Marathon. And more is what I'll do.

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A run with my son ... and a hill

Just after I got to mile 13 today, I saw my wife and son cheering me on. I saw a big smile on his face ... I looked behind me to see no one near me ... and scooped him up. Finishing the last little bit of today's Lynchburg Half Marathon with him was special -- something I won't soon forget. I can't wait until he can do his first kids race. As for the rest of the race, I did what I wanted to do -- a sub 4-hour marathon pace. I haven't widely broadcast what I want to do for the Richmond Marathon, but less than 4 hours is my goal right now. So I went into today's event with the mindset of this being a solid long training run. While I would have liked to have been around 1:50, my finishing time was 1:55:38. There's really no need for a mile-by-mile recap because everything was pretty steady. Except for one thing.

The biggest issue with getting slowed down was a HUGE hill about three-quarters of a mile long -- and it wasn't really the uphill that caused the issue. Coming back down the hill kind of just killed the whole run. After the bottom of the hill, there were a little more than 3 miles to go. I just couldn't go. I just settled into a pace a little more than 9 minutes a mile and eased to the end.

To put this hill into perspective, I have mapped this big hill and the middle miles of the race on Daily Mile. This rest of the Lynchburg Half is mostly flat, with some gradual hills along a bike path next to the James River. (For anyone new to my blog, this course has changed drastically from three years ago when it was a mostly flat race. I had NO IDEA that this hill was this big, despite what people told me.)

From a racing standpoint, this just wasn't that great of an experience. From a training standpoint, it was actually a really good run. I'm not going to complain about it; I'm just going to move on from it. I learned some lessons today about hills -- I may run on them every day, but I need to learn to work them better and not let them work me. I think I've become too used to them. I smell a hill repeat workout soon.

On a side note, today was the 10th half marathon I have completed since the summer of 2006, and my third this year. The past two experiences -- this one with the hill and the Blue Ridge Half in April -- have really taught me to respect this distance more than I already did. My other eight half marathon experiences have been mostly flat, including six half marathons at Virginia Beach. Experiences like today and in April are eye opening and why I want to keep going. It makes training for my second marathon all the more worthwhile.