Return of the PDR

While the storm of the century rages outside my window, I think I’ll take this opportunity to update you on how my half marathon training’s gone for the past week.

But really. This is quite the thunderstorm.

I upped my milage a lot this week. I ran 17.5 miles this week, which is a bit more than the 12.5 I ran last week and definitely violated the “never increase your milage by more than 10% per week rule.” Oops. It’s definitely not something I’m going to make a habit of, because I’d really rather not injure myself with just over four weeks (crap) to go until my half.

I planned to run five miles on Monday and really felt fine for the first three miles. Then mile 3.01 happened, and I bonked.

Is it possible to bonk in a five miler? I don’t know, but I imagine bonking feels a lot like what happened to me as soon as I passed three miles on Monday. I died out of nowhere, as my splits clearly show. I didn’t walk at all in that fourth mile, even though my time makes it look like I did.

While I was fighting through dead legs, I tried to figure out what on earth was going on. Then I remembered that I ran the fastest 10K of my life on Saturday and followed that up with about 4 hours on my feet at Taste of Lincoln Ave. and a 2 mile walk, just for kicks. In case that wasn’t enough, I also spent 3 hours on my feet at Taste of Lincoln on Sunday, AND I completely neglected stretching post-race on Saturday. It’s no wonder my legs rebelled. I cut my run short by half a mile and  was sure to give them a nice break all of Monday night.

Love me some compression sleeves.

On Tuesday my volleyball team won all three sets! We’ve officially moved out of last place in the league to third! We’re a mere set behind the second best team, who in a stunner lost all three on Tuesday. We’re up against them this week, but I’ll be otherwise occupied, so unfortunately I won’t be able to contribute to our slow rise to dominance 🙂

On Wednesday, my legs stopped hating me and I was able to finish all five miles without too much trouble. The highlight of Wednesday run came around mile 4.75, where a random person walking in the opposite direction I was running in cheered me on. Such a nice encouragement!

I cross trained on Thursday for the first time in three weeks, and it was all right. I’ve apparently lost all my upper body and core strength since my last strength training workout two weeks ago, because I was dying on the same circuits I did without too much trouble then. I also made up my mind that once my running season is over for the year, I’m going to devote a lot of my winter to building up strength. I miss feeling strong, and I want that feeling back!

And that brings us to today. I had an eight miler on my schedule, which meant for the first time in about three months, I had a PDR coming my way! I chose to do another out-and-back run where I started in the middle, going two miles in one direction before doubling back and running two miles beyond my additional start point. I know a lot of runners dread out and backs, but I really think they’re one of my favorite ways to run, especially when I start in the middle. Breaking my run into four sets of two makes it seem much more manageable than starting in one place and running eight miles away.

I will admit that I didn’t run all eight miles straight today, due to a much needed potty break at mile 1.11 and a refueling break at mile 5.25. I had two of the G Series Carb Energy Chew I got from work a couple weeks ago. There are four in a pack, but I couldn’t imagine eating that much. Despite their full-of-artificialness makeup, which is not normally my thing, I thought the chews were pretty good. They also didn’t really upset my stomach, which was my main concern.

I ended up running an 11:22 pace for my eight miler, with my last two miles both being over 12 minutes. Ouch. My main goal for my half marathon is simply to finish it, but the Chicago Half is a pretty fast race, at least compared to other races I’ve looked into. You have to maintain a 13 minute mile pace to stay on the course, and I’m kind of concerned about my ability to do that. I’ve completely given up on running with my friend, who is apparently training at 9:15 (which really frustrates me, to be honest, because it was her idea to run it together in the first place, and when I warned her about how slow I am, she didn’t have a problem with that at all…but now she wants me to run at least 10s. That’s just not feasible. Hmph).

So that’s where I stand right now. I’m hoping to PDR again next week with a 9.5 miler. I’m also hoping to start enjoying my long runs, because right now, I’m really not that thrilled with them. I like being able to say that I did it, but I’m not sure that I’m in love with running much farther than six miles.

What’s your ideal distance?
What kind of courses do you like best: out and backs, loops, something else?

2 thoughts on “Return of the PDR

  1. I usually pick the type of course I run based on my mood. When I really want to go out and enjoy a run, I’ll run a loop but if I am not feeling running and just want to get a workout over with, I’ll run an out and back. Out and backs feel less mentally taxing to me and the second half always seems easier.

    In terms of not loving longer distances that is totally okay but I wonder if maybe you’re not loving them because you’re so concerned with pace? I can DEFINITELY be like that sometimes. I get so focused on running fast that I forget why I run– because I love it! Maybe try going for a few runs without your watch and see how you feel, it may make a big difference. If it doesn’t, no biggie, stick out training and see how you feel post-race!

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