Road to my first half marathon – The road continues

After my cancelled race and getting sick for some days, I took a short break from running. I have extended my Garmin Coach plan with four weeks, but I don’t intend to follow it completely. The last long run in the Garmin Coach plan with Coach Greg is 4 weeks before race day and that means in the extended plan there will also be no long run anymore. That doesn’t seem like a good plan to me so I’ll be adding one or two long runs in myself. 

While on a running break, I bought the dresser shown below, put it together and gathered all my running and workout stuff around it. Up until now I had a separate running drawer in my regular closet (stuffed full) and my accessoires were simply scattered around the house. 

The two bottom drawers are filled with my running clothes and in the top drawer I have my accessoires, socks, etc. This thing was filled up a lot faster as I was expecting. The mirror also holds up my medals. No fancy medal holder, but enough room for lots more medals! 

Easy run

It’s Friday and after not being able to run for the last days I am happy that I finally feel good enough to go for a run. I planned to just go for a short and easy run and simply see how it goes. I’m also bringing my tripod to take some running pictures on the trails in the woods. I took a few good shots at a few spots and then ran further to see if I could find another nice picture taking spot. As I was running with my phone still attached to the tripod and holding it by the stand, it broke. I guess the tripod didn’t like the many vibrations in combination with the weight of my phone and the cheap build of it. I guess I’ll be on the lookout for a new one. 

The run was hard, I ran 5K at an average pace of 8:31 min/km. It seems my body has not fully recovered yet, but that’s okay, there is still enough time for that. 

Long easy run

Today’s long run is not supported by Garmin Coach. While Coach Greg planned a 45 minute easy run for me, I planned a 17,5K run. I set out a route in Garmin Courses (not randomly this time) and I was ready, right? I really didn’t feel like going for this long run today. I already heard the wind smashing against the house and I knew it was going to be a bumpy run. After last week’s race got ruined by a storm, today a new storm arrived to mess with my running schedule. But, today I was not going to let anything stop me.

Even though it’s stormy, it’s about 14°C, so I’m going out in a capri and T-shirt. I have my Camelbak with 1L water, my stroopwafel and a small bottle of sports drink. I am prepared to take on today’s storm. As soon as I get out the door I feel this wind is going to be no joke. I remember the route I set out had a large part running through open terrain and all I could think was: hopefully I’ll have the wind in my back. 

Some of the wind gusts almost brought me to a full-stop and I really tried not to work too hard against the wind, but my heart rate was climbing fast. The wind was either coming straight in my face or from the sides making me swirl all over the road. After 2,5K I turned towards the open field I mentioned earlier and I had already figured out I would actually have the wind in my back here. Finally! I remembered reading an article in preparation for my windy race last weekend that stated when running against the wind you should take small steps, but when the wind is in your back, take bigger steps to take full advantage of the wind. Let’s try that. I heard the wind coming and as I pushed to take a big step I felt the wind take me away. It was a really fun feeling to run like this with the wind in my back, but I did need to be careful where my feet would land. 

After the fun part flying with the wind I had a few more turns to make and now the wind was coming at me from the side again. I was really fighting against the wind and I realized I had still more as 10K to go. Fun. From here on out it was a struggle. My statistics confirm that I got slower with each kilometer and that’s also how it felt. I considered a few times to cut my run short, but with my new half marathon race in just three weeks this run was required. And with these conditions it’s just a better workout, right? 

At 15K I was completely done. My food and energy drink was gone and somehow my Camelbak was also not providing me any water anymore. Great planning. I was looking for ways to cut my run short, but the route simply takes me straight home from here. It’s just about surviving this run now! At 17K I reached the end of the course and I was simply relieved the route turned out 0,5K shorter as expected and that I made it. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it. 


I ran 17K at an average pace of 8:45 min/km. 

Summary
Just two runs this week, but given how I felt in the beginning of the week I am very okay with that. Three more weeks until my first half marathon! 

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