Leading up to this race I’ve felt a lot of pressure within. It’s no different pressure than any other race. I always get nervous, there’s always some little ache or pain that arises in my body within a few weeks from the event; I always question whether or not I’ve eaten enough, gone to the restroom enough times, etc etc…. I often think to myself, “I wish I could just run a race for fun; without having a time/pace goal, and without letting the outcome of the race determine if I’ll be upset with myself or excited the rest of the day.”
Why the Pressure- What Did I Have to Prove to Myself?
– This is the first time I haven’t trained with a “traditional” running group
– My training included 4 CrossFit workouts, 2 track/interval workouts, and 1 tempo/time trial run a week (plus Bikram Yoga) and NO LONG EASY RUNS. Vs. Running, running, running, with long, slower running, and only doing a little bit of weight training as before.
– I’m racing as a slightly larger, endurance athlete. Before you roll your eyes, hear me out on this….when I ran my fastest half in 2004 (1:30) I was 25lbs lighter than I am now. My second fastest half in 2009 (1:31) was 8-10 pounds ago. So, I felt the need to prove that even though I am no longer a skinny, starving, over trained runner, that I could run just as hard, just a fast, and feel not just as strong, but stronger.
– I wanted to prove to myself that the CFE programming really does work.
So….Getting to the Good Stuff….The Results:
Thanks to programming a la Benjamin, and pacing from Sam through mile 5 to the end (and 3 miles from Rick) I ended up running a 7:09/mile pace; giving me a finishing time of 1:34:07.
I started the race 4 minutes later because I was standing in line for the restroom. By the time I made my way to the start, I was stuck in the pack of the 2+hour half marathon pace groups. I spent the first mile running on the grass bike trail alongside the run course to avoid the cluster; which was great because it reminded me a little of Cross Country running.
I felt awesome the entire race. I never really got tired or winded until the last mile. My calves started to get pretty tight around mile 12 and I was trying to push the pace without “kicking too soon”, but thanks to my excellent pacer(s) I was able to finish strong and with a time I am satisfied with.
The Pros: I am here to tell you that training strictly CFE works! I never felt over trained, maintained less than 20 miles a week of running, based on quality-not quantity, and was pretty much injury-free aside from some minor things here and there.
The Cons: Because I was trying to really test the programming, I didn’t get to do much of anything else (bike, swim, etc). I also didn’t enjoy doing most of my Tempo/Time Trial runs by myself. I really enjoy running with other people and don’t run with music; so running alone and trying to maintain a solid pace got old, real quick.
The great news is now that the race is over, I will continue CFE training for duathlon season, along with my Bikram Yoga challenge, and Strictly Strength…I’m ready to #getstrong and start filling out my jeans again; develop that “apple bottom”.