Well I think I proved that you don't have to put in long useless training miles to endure a long distance event. The past 12 weeks I have been working on speed and efficient training. I have not ran 10+ miles since my 1/2 Ironman in October. My goal this off season was to train efficiently and smart. I feel I am on the path of accomplishing my off season goals. I am not exactly where I want to be yet but I am happy with my performance.
This past weekend was the Woodside 1/2 Marathon. For those of you that do not know about this event, I will give you a few details. This is a single track trail run. The first 6.5 miles is a climb of 1900 feet. When you turnaround it is an all out time trial to the finish. For most the weather was dark and gloomy but for us running the event the weather was perfect for a run.
I started out fast, maybe too fast because about 15 minutes into this race my legs were burning. As we started the climb up the mountain my heart rate was high and my legs were pumping. I was able to stay positive throughout the tough section of the course. I just told myself, "Get to the turnaround and then the race is almost over." I kept saying that in my head. I would zone out and before you knew it another 10, 15 and 20 minutes were gone. I checked my watch and I knew the turnaround would be here shortly. The final climb was a tough one but then I turned around and started the "time trial". I got to the top in 52 minutes so roughly 8 min./mile. Running downhill is tougher than most think. Especially on a descent that involves a wet and muddy trail and approximately 15 switch backs to deal with. My heart rate was steady and controlled and my stability felt great. This is where all the training in the gym pays off and being strong and stable are advantages. By time I reached the 10 mile point of the race, my legs were fatigued but I needed to push through the last 3 miles. I zoned out, kept my pace and pushed to the end. Once I knew there was only 1 mile to go, I gave it all I had and finished strong. The 2nd 6.5 miles took 42 minutes so roughly 6:25 min./mile. My overall time was 1 hour 34 minutes and 16 seconds, 7:14 min./mile, which was 50 seconds faster than last year. I was 22nd out of 156 participants.
Good things: speed and strength were great; aerobically I felt good till about 11 mile marker
Things I need to work on: endurance; pushing through the tough spots of the course; digging a little deeper to keep up with a racer infront of me
Goals: 1) Keep training smart. 2) Continue building the endurance to prepare for Wildflower 3) Challenge the body a bit more when racing
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