Shamrock’n Half Marathon Round 2 Training Update

4 days until my 4th half marathon! …This is seriously the last thing I ever thought I’d be blogging about when I first started blogging and had to ask my readers whether they thought I could possibly train for a 3 mile run.

As of now, I’m feeling pretty prepared…and a little like I just want to get it over with, to be honest 😉 But that could be because on Monday morning after race day, we’re leaving for Maui! I can see it now…I finish the race, devour a delicious brunch, treat myself to a much needed pedicure, then wake up the next morning and slide my pedicured toesies into some flippy floppys, get on a plane, and head to the beach!

Anyway, when I last checked in, I had two general goals for my last month or so of training.

  1. Keep on track (obvi 🙂 ) and
  2. Make a conscious effort to get to sleep earlier during the week so that I’m rested enough to wake up on time and get more than 3 miles in.

Let’s see how I did, shall we?

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Being that my plan was to do 2 short runs, 2 days of weight training, 1 long run, and 2 rest days each week…I would say I did alright! Some weeks are better than others…However, since checking in the first week of February, I managed to wake up early enough for at least one 4 mile run each week, and didn’t go below 3.3 miles!

That is, except for the week before Presidents Day/Valentines Day weekend, when I woke up before sunrise on Thursday morning to run 10.5 miles before work instead of 4

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Russell had a trip (to a surprise location!) planned for us, and he let me know ahead of time that I would probably not be able to get a long run in. I freaked out for about 4.338972 seconds before realizing it wouldn’t kill me to wake up an hour earlier and bust out my long run on a weekday.

Add in a full day of work and a dodgeball game and I was definitely feeling it. I woke up the next day with what felt like a pulled muscle in my achilles tendon/ankle/calf. And our trip didn’t make matters any better…

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Don’t mind the fact that we’re glistening with sweat…it was 90 degrees!

….’Cuz we went to Disneyland!!! And Disneyland = walking everywhere. Basically by the time I hit 15,000 steps each day (…which was usually before noon. Seriously.) my ankle needed a rest. For the most part, it didn’t put a damper on our trip, but I did decide that it was likely due to overuse and that I should be better about resting it.

Because of my schedule, I didn’t end up doing another run until the following Sunday, putting something like 9 days in between those two long runs. I didn’t have any issues with my ankle and it has been fine ever since!

You’ll notice in my training plan that even though I haven’t missed any long runs, they have not consistently been 7 days apart. Sometimes they’re 8, sometimes they’re 5 or 6. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing – maybe it’s good to keep my body guessing? But it’s mostly because of a bonkers February calendar; I don’t think I was home all weekend once.

Besides my sore muscle in Disneyland and my irregular training calendar, it has all been going pretty well! My long runs have been around a consistent 9:20/mile pace, which is pretty close to the 9:11/mile (2 hour) goal that I have for all of my races. My short runs – even the 4 milers – got increasingly quicker too, which makes me feel like I should’ve upped that mileage sooner. But overall it’s gone well! I haven’t even had any terrible rainy runs, despite El Niño’s appearance this winter…

That is….until now.

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Fun thing to pass on your last training run – this will actually be mile 8 of next week’s race =\

Basically, after 11 weeks of mostly dry runs (I pushed several Saturday runs to Sunday if it was raining), a huge storm reared its ugly head in Northern California this weekend and has no plans to leave…….Until AFTER the race.

I got lucky last weekend and hoped that by delaying til Sunday I would miss most of the rain. It only rained for about half a mile, but some pretty insane wind kept my pace slower than I would have liked.

So now here’s the weather forecast for Sunday (race day):

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Not. Ideal.

It’s not necessarily the rain that bothers me – I’ve had some really fun rainy runs! But running against 20 mph winds on some parts of this course is not appealing to me. A lot of it is along the river, where it feels like the wind gets even more gusty than usual, and is always blowing against you! The Shamrock’n folks changed the course this year so that the hardest 1-2 miles of the trail for me during training runs (a stretch along the river that follows a quick but brutal hill) will be miles 10-11 of the race course. PLUS, because it’s supposed to rain all week, there are also concerns about the trail flooding.

Sooo basically I started out this post by saying I was feeling good about the race, and now I’m saying the weather might ruin it.

The good thing is, the weather is really out of my control so there’s nothing I can do to change it. All I can do is not get injured this week (lol), get lots of rest, and try my best come Sunday! Rain or shine 🙂

Have you ever run a long race in the rain?

What is your favorite kind of weather to run in?

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