I had a great half marathon in West Palm Beach, Florida.
All the stars were aligned. How could I not?
- I was uninjured and not even coming off an injury
- The course was FLAT
- It was cool but not too cool at the start and during the race, it was warm but not too warm.
- There was barely any wind.
- You ran almost the whole race with water views.
- I was relaxed.
- I enjoyed the race while I was running it.
As a result, I had a 9 minute PR and won my age group. Perfect, right?
Don’t get me wrong. It didn’t come easy. Running does NOT come easy to me.
I followed a flexible training plan. I tried to be more consistent with my running. Most weeks I ran 4 times (yellow squares). Even when it was cold, I got out there.
I also made sure I had my rest days (white squares).
I love to race and I am happy that I ran some races (blue squares) too. For me, races are my speed work.
In addition, the first 5 weeks, I did speed work on Mondays as part of a running group. After that, the speed work disappeared.
But for me, the important part are the long runs. And I think I got them all in: 8, 9.3, 8, 8, 9.3, 11, 12, 13.2, 8.
What was missing?
I would have liked to do more cross-training. I played tennis once a week but I wish I had done more yoga to increase my flexibility and have gone to the gym more often to do some strength training exercises.
It also would have been even more enjoyable knowing someone else at the race. It is always nice to share race experiences with someone you know.
And of course, no one likes pain and my blisters hurt!! But they were temporary and went away quickly. (I was able to run a 15K a week later.)
As I write this, I am on Week 1 of the same training plan for the Asbury Park Half Marathon on April 18, 2015.
I registered for 3 half marathons in 2015.
The West Palm Beach race was supposed to be palm trees and sunshine and a race to enjoy being away from the cold.
The Walkway Half on June 13, 2015 is supposed to be a new cool race over the new bridge. There should be people I know running it. But it may be pretty hilly.
I was planning on the Asbury Park race to be my goal (PR) race.
However, after this past half marathon, things have changed in my mind. Of course, I will train and run the best race I can. But I no longer feel the PR pressure. If 2:09:40 is my fastest time, I can live with that.
Asbury Park will be along the ocean and should be scenic. But as we know, April can still be cold and windy. I plan to enjoy it and we’ll see how it turns out.
So for half marathon #2 of 2015, bring on the training! And…
Happy Running! How do you deal with PR pressure? Can you just run for fun?