Well, due to some family issues, which because of privacy concerns I will not be disclosing, it looks like the trip to Orlando in March has been cancelled. See that big red CANCELLED stamp on my ½ marathon dreams? I sure felt it when the stamp came slamming down, but I think it’s the right decision for our collective sanity, and sometimes you have to take one for the team. At least I hadn’t submitted my registration fee yet, since I’d really be upset if I had already sent Disney my non-refundable $150.
I’m not willing to give up my ½ plans yet, though nothing else perfectly fits my planning the same way. When I initially decided to try a ½, my selection requirements were:
- Make it a big race, so you’re not alone the whole time (see – Run for Congo)
- It’s got to be either a women’s only race, OR a rock n’ roll. A women’s only rock n’ roll would be ideal, but someone hasn’t decided to put that race on yet. Trust me, it would be a great time.
My first thought was San Diego, but they only do the full marathon. I’m never ever running in LA – I might wear the wrong color and be shot at. San Jose, San Antonio, and Virginia Beach just don’t call to me. Seattle is definitely an option, but it’s at the end of June. I’d love to do the Nike Women's ½, but it’s not until October, and it’s already sold out. Eugene would be awesome and beautiful, but it’s a little intimidating to go to Tracktown for your first ½. That leaves our own P.F. Chang’s ½, on January 18th, 2009.
By the way, that is less than 9 weeks away.
My initial thought was NO!!!!!!! I had previously done the math, and had planned on being at about 8 miles of weekly long run two weeks before the race. I did not think it was realistic to pound out an extra 5+ miles on race day, which is why I started looking at March races. However, a combination of a little bit more speed than I planned, and a really successful and injury free year has meant that I’m a little bit ahead of schedule.
I had also shunned the idea of doing a “1/2 marathon training plan” primarily because every training plan I’ve followed has gotten me nothing but injuries, and I feel like the plan I’ve developed myself - the slow and steady plan – has kept me healthy, and for most part it has kept me focused and engaged. So I looked at my plan again after the Cancellation Stamp slammed down, to see if there was any wiggle room.
After some thought, I’ve decided to:
- Up just my long run days by 10 mins per week instead of 5 (keeping to the ABC formula, except that I’d go A,B,C,recovery, D,E,F,recovery, versus my current A,B,C,recovery, repeat C,D,E,recovery.
- To compensate for the added stress that I’ll be putting on my body on long run days, I’m going to keep my other training days to 100 mins or under.
- I will use swimming time from now until February 1 as recovery and efficiency of stroke practice only!
- I will really really really do a better job with my stretching.
- I will do NO running for at least 1 week after the race.
Putting this together should have me at 10.5 – 11 miles for a long run with 2 weeks out. I feel confident that if I can run 10 or 11 miles, I can add that 5K on at the end.
I can do this. I have the confidence in myself. And there’s something to be said for doing your first ½ at home. I can eat the right things the night before. I can be totally mentally prepared. I can go home and sleep in my own bed afterward with my really comfy red velvet blanket that’s heavy enough to keep me dreaming safely.
If I can’t be a princess, I guess my next choice would be to run in a Chinese (food) race, right? I can wear my Xing Fu necklace for incentive too!
And so I leave you with the quote that I am going to embrace during this somewhat shortened training plan -
“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender who you are for who you could become.” – Mahatma Gandhi