If you caught my last post, you know I was off to Lake Havasu for the weekend to run the London Bridge Half Marathon. I decided to run the race as part of my La Jolla Half Marathon training because it coincided with a 13 mile long run on my schedule. The key to using a race as a training run is to run it properly, and I had a plan. As to whether I followed that plan or not…more on that later. Here is my weekly training recap.
Strength training has not been my focus in this training cycle. I’m getting it done, through the classes that I teach, but that has been it. I am already planning ahead for my next race (I’ll let you know soon!), and I will get back to the gym. But, for now, I managed two workouts this week, both classes that I taught.
I had planned to take Monday off. I was tired from the weekend and I thought that I’d just “teach” the class instead of participate. That was until I had four people in the class, two of them very fit teenagers. So, I played along and participated in a challenging Fast & Furious Class.
I also taught a Superball class during the week, which counts as my second strength workout. We did a superset style workout that was fun and challenging.
I didn’t start the week strongly. On Tuesday, which is supposed to be my interval/speed work day, I instead decided to sleep in a little and take the day completely off. I know that is necessary sometimes (and I know my body appreciated the rest), but there is always a bit of a guilt factor when I skip a workout. That meant I needed to make up for it (again) on Wednesday. As I’ve done for a few weeks now, I warmed up with a four mile run with Penny, then, after taking her home, headed out for an interval workout on the road.
I felt much better than I had the previous week, so I decided to run half mile repeats. The only problem was that during my first interval I could feel a touch of my exercise induced asthma coming on. I didn’t have my inhaler with me, so I slowed down, let myself recover, then got back on it. I never got up to the paces from a few weeks ago, though. My slightly uphill intervals were around 4:07-4:10, the downhills were 3:52-3:55. Not bad, but slower than I hoped. Still, I did three miles worth, five half miles, plus two quarter miles (damn asthma!).
On Friday, I took the day off and Alan and I drove to Lake Havasu City, home of the London Bridge (and the London Bridge Half Marathon). It’s about a three hour drive from La Quinta, across a desolate area of Southern California that we forget exists anymore. Soon after we got into Arizona, we drove passed the Parker Dam. Neither of us had driven this way before, so it was pretty interesting. Especially this:
Sure enough, shortly after seeing the sign, Alan spotted a burro on the side of the road. We drove even more carefully after that.
After passing Parker Dam, it was about a half an hour before we arrived in Lake Havasu City. We checked into the hotel, then headed over to packet pick up (which was held at the hotel). Alan was announcing the race, so he checked in, I registered, then we stuck around and helped out for a little while until the rush was over.
After an early night (dinner at Chipotle’s), I slept badly. I’m not sure why. I felt like I’d had some caffeine too close to bedtime. Jumpy and definitely not sleepy. We were up early though, Alan had to be at the venue by 5:30 (the race started at 7:00). After we arrived, Alan went to work and I stayed in the car, nibbling on a bagel and a banana, passing time. This was planned to be a long run, after all, not a race, so I wasn’t feeling any pre-race nerves. Really.
The London Bridge Half Marathon
About 6:45 I wandered over to the start line, kissed my husband and borrowed his asthma inhaler. Then I went to the start line, which was interesting because no one seemed to want to move to the front. I knew that I didn’t belong there, and finally the runners started to move forward. Then, the National Anthem and we were off.
As I mentioned, I did have a plan for this training run/race. I would run the first three miles at about my regular long run pace, which is between 10 and 10:30 minutes per mile. At mile three, I’d pick it up to about 9:30 for the next two miles. At mile five, I would pick it up to race pace, which is about 9:09 per mile, for the next six miles, then slow back down for the last two miles.
After the gun went off, I did not lose sight of my plan. I held back. At least I though I was holding back. Several minutes into the race I looked at my Garmin and saw that I was running at an 8:30 pace. Oops. I slowed down. I had a hard time bringing all the way down to 10 minute pace though, so I settled for something between 9:30 and 9:45. I felt good though. The course was pretty flat, with just a few rolling hills to keep it interesting. It was also very beautiful, in a desert kind of way, but I did not stop to take any pictures. Training run or not, I still had 13 miles to run.
I hit the five mile marker just under 48 minutes. Right where I wanted to be. Time to pick up the pace. Except the best I could do was 9:19 for the next mile. And slower after that. The next mile was 9:33, then 9:55. Then, in mile nine I felt my asthma start up. It is a feeling of lightheadedness that seems to warn me that I am not getting enough oxygen. I slowed to a walk, took a couple puffs on the inhaler, and waited until the feeling passed. Then, I started running again. That mile was 10:45. Not too bad, really, considering.
For the next few miles the best I could do was around 10:15 miles. Then, less than a quarter mile from the finish, the asthma again and another 10:45 mile. But then, finally, the finish, and the words from my husband that I love to hear, “Here comes my favorite person in the world..!” I was done. Official time: 2:09:20. Maybe not according to plan, but I was happy with the result.
After grabbing a water, walking it off a little and stretching a bit, I wandered over to where the results were posted (yes, it was a training run, but I’m not that uncompetitive). There I was pleasantly surprised to see that I’d finished third in my age group!
Alan and I drove home Saturday afternoon. It’s fun to be away, but much better to come home. Sunday morning we went for a little slow three mile recovery run. I also got to sleep in a little, which I needed after all that running, driving, and a poor night’s sleep the night before. I did have to deal with this though:
Here are a few random pictures from Lake Havasu, plus my complete running log for the week if you’re interested.
Being from California, Alan and I got a kick out of this, a sign on the entrance to the cocktail lounge at our hotel. We were so disappointed that we couldn’t bring our guns we decided to skip the trip to the bar.
Well, one more week of hard training, then a short taper, then finally, race day. I think I’m ready.
How did your training week go? Any races, events, or other competitions? I hope you’ll share!