Training Thoughts

Alright, time to be honest.   It’s been a long time coming, I’ve hinted at it but let’s be real here.   The training I did for 17 weeks for City to the Sea was a mess.   I phoned it in.  I knew I was phoning it in but I kept on running in denial.  But actually, let’s look at all the half’s (halves?) I’ve run this year.

Surf City- 2:19:00
Wine Country- 2:06:05
Shoreline- 2:14:29
City to the Sea- 2:12:40

Surf City was the very beginning of my training cycle so it really was just a very well supported, expensive long run.   Also the 25K trail race seven days prior made for some sore legs.  The race was a bucket list race, you could say just running it was checking it off the list.   That said, the 2:19 isn’t bad.

Wine Country was in the middle of SLO training.   I was using a McMillan training plan for SLO and Wine Country was built-in as a tune up race.   I went into it with zero expectations but had my best race of the year.    Which I hadn’t expected as I was having some issues with my legs, achy knees and super tight calves.

I was best trained for SLO but even that was mediocre.    I would say I followed 75% of my training plan, my very nice, designed just for me McMillan plan.  What a waste.   I still believe I could have PR’d that race had I not eaten asphalt at mile 5.  Throw in the gnarliest stomach issues I’ve ever had running for the last 5 miles and I am still damn proud of that race.

Shoreline was a last minute decision to add a race in the middle of July.  It fell on my birthday so why not?   Under trained and 75% humidity- why not?  Shockingly, I met the goal I set for the race- sub 2:15:00.

City to the Sea was supposed to be my goal race, my time to shine; I was finally going to run a sub 2:00:00 half marathon.  Except yeah.    A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how I wasn’t in PR shape and a sub 2 just wasn’t in the cards right now.  But why not?   A hill in mile 9 kicked my ass and I didn’t recover, but why?  It was 200 ft, not a mountain, why?

Let’s talk about that training plan.  17 weeks, right?   Running 3x a week with one easy, one speed and one long run.  In theory it was just what I needed.   3 days was what I could handle having to deal with some serious stress at work and my stupid stomach.   On a side note, it has occurred to me that all the stress at work is exacerbating my stomach issues but that’s not the point.    So what was wrong with my training?

Choosing quality over quantity means those runs actually have to be quality runs.  They weren’t.  They were time fillers.   Speed work was rare.  You can’t race faster if you don’t run faster.  Want to know how many double-digit runs I completed in those 17 weeks?  One.  One lonely 10 miler on a random Friday afternoon.   9 milers?  Maybe 2.   So how was I expecting to meet my goal when I wasn’t putting in the work for it?   Yeah, I have no answer for that.   I was more than a slacker, #slackerindenial.

So it’s time to buckle down.    Once I figure out what that means.   And what it will look like for a Slacker.  I know I will never be one to throw down 50 mile weeks and it’s not about the miles, it’s what I put into them.    I’m pulling out my dusty running books and looking at that McMillan plan again.   I don’t have any races planned for the beginning of 2016 but I’d like to have a solid start to an actual decent base with good running workouts by the end of the year.   Can I do it? 

I have one half marathon left this year.   23 days away to be exact.   I thought about trying to make it another goal race attempt but I think that might make me pissed off at running.   Right now I am mad at myself and it should stay that way.   Plus, this a travel race and I really just want to enjoy the scenery.  It’s Monterey and Big Sur!!  And I may be stalking fangirling Kara Goucher the day before.  Or trying to.  I may be distracted.   😃

The sad thing is that as I write this, I have only attempted 1 mile since Sunday’s race.   Unfortunately, I got sick this week. I actually left work early yesterday I felt so crappy.   I’ve gone to work with a concussion, so going home sick is kind of big for me.   My goal is get in a couple of solid runs this weekend.

So tell me, can a slacker get real?  #slackergetsreal

Training thoughts you want to share?

Any books you can suggest?

16 thoughts on “Training Thoughts

  1. I really like Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger, and Run Your Fastest: From the 5K to the Marathon by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald. I just bought the Hansons Marathon Method book and they also have a half marathon program. You’ve had a great year!!!!


    1. I am afraid to read Pfitzinger, I think I will have mileage envy. 😛 I have a few by Fitzgerald but not that one- I will look into it. I think Hanson’s would kill me! Haha, maybe I can make that a new goal- get to the point that Hanson’s wouldn’t wreck me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know, I am reading Hansons and I am IN LOVE! You might need to check it out…I am writing a book review to be posted sometime after my final race of the year. 🙂


  2. It’s so hard to get motivated when you’re not feeling on top of your game. I’ve been there a few times. For me, the biggest difference has been meeting other people who love running too. It makes going for a run more fun. I hope you feel better soon!!!


    1. I think running with someone else could make a world of difference I just haven’t found someone yet. My best running partner is very pregnant at the moment so maybe in 6 months! I did just join a local Facebook group though so maybe something will pan out there.


  3. LOL I was so ready to enter and run a 5k. Like, I’m doing 2.7 miles, hitting good times (for me) and thought I could do it. Then I read this. Maybe I should actually run 3.1 before I sign up for a race… I’m slightly concerned!
    Beyond that, I think you did great, I think that you made it as much of a priority as you could, and now is the time you get to decide if it should be a higher priority for you or not. Sometimes you just get to run for fun 🙂
    And now I’m wondering if I’m supposed to be reading running books… Feel Better and Happy TGIF!!


    1. You can totally do it!! I didn’t mean to deter you! I am just feeling irritated with myself.
      Thank you! I miss running for fun. I need to find a happy medium between that and a training plan. I just really want to accomplish the goal of a sub-2 and it’s been 2 years since I made that goal.
      Sad thing about my running books? I’ve bought more than few over the years but never finished one! Oops. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hope you feel better! We all have those highs and lows of training. As runners most of us are perfectionists that are hard on ourselves. Just know that you are doing great! Keep pushing. You vs. you always and yes speed work and conditioning makes a huge difference. I’ve taken tons of time off of my marathon time (ran a 4:50 last year, 4:11 this year…AND I have another marathon in November). So…I say all that to say, hard work and consistency pays off.


    1. My consistency was decent at least but the hard work not so much. That is an awesome time improvement- congrats! I am hopeful that I will come out of this slump more committed. Which would be a good thing as we head into winter and the time changes. 🙂


  5. I am also a slacker, and I finally just decided to roll with it and not do a PR attempt race this fall. It’s obviously not important enough to me to put in the training, so why waste the money registering for a race, and then being disappointed, or worse, hurting myself? After Wine and Dine in November, I need to sit back and figure out what next year is going to look like, and how to meet some goals while accepting that I’m not good at following training plans.


    1. I thought about trying to push it at Big Sur but I really just want to enjoy that race and take pictures of the course. Wine and Dine sounds like it will be so much fun! What is it about a training plan that makes me just want to do the opposite? I show up to work on time- why can’t I follow a training plan?!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Not every year is going to be the best, but at least you are getting out there and doing it. I think you will really pleasantly surprise yourself in your upcoming half!
    Books wise – if you need motivation read Born to Run. Or Eat and Run. Both of them got me so fired up about running itself. They are by no means “how tos” but instead just great books about people who are extremely passionate about running. If that isn’t contagious, I don’t know what is.
    I hope you find a little boost of motivation in the upcoming weeks to end your season on a positive note, but your attitude is always so pleasant that I think no matter what the outcome is, you will thrive and do great!


    1. I really need to read Born to Run, I feel like my running credentials should be revoked if I don’t. It’s been on my list for a while now but I’ve never followed through. But I could use some of that passion in my life right now so I will check it out.
      Thank you! I am aiming to run Big Sur for fun and the scenery. This whole pace goal thing needs to just take a back seat for a while. I want to run for the sake of running. Plus I miss trails. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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