This is a story about that time that I thought I could win the Sandhills Half Marathon.
I was right on pace for the first two miles.
Then I thought I was going to die.
Then I learned some serious racing lessons.
And I finished.
Weekend before last, I ran the Sandhills Half. It was the. hardest. race I’ve ever run. And it had nothing to do with the race itself, or the course, which couldn’t get much better. It just was not my day. Not at all.
So before I get into the miserable details of my personal experience this year, let me give you the backstory about this race.
I’ve mentioned that we are training for a half marathon coming up in June, and our official 10 week training started 2 weeks ago now. Where does the time go?? I’ve also promised to share said training plan and my training pace calculator, so here it is!
If you’re looking for a training plan and want to know if this one could be right for you, here is why I love it:
a. It works well for someone that has at least some experience with running. First and foremost, if you are brand new to running, this plan is probably not for you. It’s not a couch to half marathon program, and it does not allow for many easy “just go out and jog a couple miles” days. However, if you have some experience running and are looking to complete your first half, or you are a seasoned runner trying to improve your time, this plan may be perfect.
b. You only have to run 3 times per week. I don’t know about you, but I just can’t fathom running 5 to 7 days a week like I used to in high school and college. It’s either that I work too many hours, that I’m slightly lazy and enjoy my free time/sleep too much, or all of the above. Being an adult is hard work.
So I’m about a week behind, but I’m finally here for a recap of the race we ran last Saturday. This was our 4th Sharin’ O’ the Green, and it has become quite the St. Patty’s Day tradition. We lucked out yet again with the weather. It was around 34 degrees prior to the start (cold right?) but actually turned out to be perfect race weather. There was no wind, which is huge, and the sun was out. Two ingredients for success in the weather department around here. I think it was right around 40 degrees during the actual run. We were Reagan-free this time, which is a bummer because there were so many cute dogs, and I feel bad leaving her at home. But it was in her best interest, she had been limping last week so I didn’t want her to hurt herself. And she will never quit.
Anyway, I was hoping to improve on my time from the same race last year, and also to run a faster pace than I did at the Valentine’s race.
Our first race of the year is officially in the books. Saturday, Valentine’s Day morning, we got our butts out of bed bright and early and headed down to Loveland, CO for the Sweetheart Classic 4 mile run. The race didn’t start until 9:00 a.m., which is actually fairly late for a typical fun run. The weather was just about perfect, about 43° F at the start (felt chilly, but nothing compared to last year when it was maybe low 20s). No wind, and no ice on the ground! Can’t ask for much better in February.
This is a pretty laid-back event, and it seemed like there was a bigger turnout than last year (results say 455 participants). It is put on by the Loveland Road Runners, and raises funds for the local High School cross country team. The course is nice, running through a couple of neighborhoods and around Lake Loveland. I think the size of the lake probably dictates the 4 mile distance, rather than it being a typical 5k.
As the Northeast is hunkering down for Snowpocalypse 2015, we happened to have a rare (record?) two days in the mid 60s in Cheyenne. Jesse and I took advantage by sneaking out of work a half hour early yesterday to go for a run outside. It’s a race against daylight at this point in the year, but it was beautiful!
We ran one of our old familiar loops, which ended up being right at 4 miles. This felt like an achievement, since I have only been going about 3 miles at the gym since we got back into the swing of things three weeks ago. I am trying to ease back into a comfortable running level before adding any speed work or getting too carried away with mileage. This month I’ve made it 2-3 days a week, which I think is a fair start after taking a few months off completely.