Fresh off the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon, I decided (in my runners’ high state) to sign up for the Scotia Half at the end of June. Seems doable right? It was technically 8 weeks away so I thought I should be fine. The website had an 8-week Half to Half training schedule for those who have just run the BMO and want to keep up the momentum for the Scotia Half. It’s been an interesting last 6 weeks and now I’m in the home stretch.
The Half to Half program gets down to business. There’s no slowing down, a consistent schedule of 3 days of running and 2 cross-training days. I did not follow this to a tee. What I did was follow the scheduled long runs to a tee and kept up a 3-4 day running plan per week. In addition, I tried to include some cross training like 2 pilates classes, a couple Grouse Grinds, a November Project workout, and a bike ride… working out at most 5 days a week. I saw my number of workout hours in May increase drastically from 12 hours in April to 17. I clearly was working harder than usual and it took a toll on me. I got a nasty cold which caused me to miss my first scheduled long run and I also fought through another one during the week I had to do a 17km. That was probably one of my toughest runs… I was so weak. I pretty much walked the last half of that route. It was also getting hotter each day and I felt my stamina getting worse and worse. Not to mention the heat was also causing me to almost black out a few times. I chalked this up to not being used to running in high temperatures but soon I was getting accustomed to it. It definitely doesn’t feel as bad as it used to so I’m pretty happy about that. I feel like I’m getting back to normal… and then of course I pull my groin.
Yesterday’s 20k long run was sidelined because my groin decided it wasn’t going to cooperate. I was running with a limp so I decided to turn back and my 20k turned into 2… barely. I went back home and stretched and iced and foam rolled… and repeated that all day. My legs are elevated, taped, and I’m hoping that it will get better after a few days of rest. I need one last long run before tapering the week after.
At this point, I’d really like to stress the importance of stretching, foam rolling, and seeing a massage therapist. It’s the only way to prevent injuries and keep your muscles loose and ready. I wish I had done more, otherwise I wouldn’t be in this position now.
I’ve gotten some new gear in the last month: new shoes and a new water belt. I got another pair of Asics Gel-Kayano 20’s because I really liked them and I found the same ones on sale at Brown’s Sports and Cycle online. Instead of paying $200 for the latest pair, I decided to just shell out $120 for a tried and true brand and version (for now). And they’re pink which makes for great visibility! I also bought a Running Room Hydro Color Quick Draw Belt for $8. Basically, you get what you pay for. It’s ok for now but I will probably get a replacement. You have to adjust the belt pretty tightly to minimize the bounce and even then, I had to adjust it so the bottle was sitting more on my left side so that it won’t pop out. The first time I used it, with the bottle positioned where it’s supposed to be, the bottle jumped out and hit the pavement. This was just after I crossed the street from my building. Once I positioned it properly, it lasted throughout the long run. The mesh pouch fit a gel and my iPhone 6, but rather tightly and it didn’t include a bib holder.
Back to the Half to Half training… it is definitely a good program however, I don’t think I would recommend it to beginners. It’s pretty gruelling, and you have to commit a lot of time to your training. Let me tell you, I am looking forward to not having a half marathon for a while once the Scotia Half is done. I did sign up (or will sign up) for more races though…
- From Beer to Bacon 8.5km Charity Run – July 18, 2015 – pending sign-up
- PNE Donut Dash 5k – August 23, 2015
- Vancouver Eastside 10k – September 19, 2015 – pending sign-up
- Rock n Roll Vancouver 10k – October 24, 2015
Wow… that’s once a month! Meh… it’ll keep me busy 😉 2 weeks to go!