Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mardi Gras half and not tapering yet.

62.5 of 65 mile week goal - that works for me!  (I decided Sat. would be a good day to walk instead of run before the Sunday half marathon in New Orleans, so I was a few miles off of my 65 mile goal, but that's totally ok, and I think it was the best thing to do because I wanted to "race" the half)

The week went like this:
Monday - 9.5 miles @ 9:25 pace
Tues. - 20.5 @ 9:36 avg pace - did not look at the garmin for pace at all today.  First time EVER on a long run - no monitoring.  The goal was to run a comfortable LSD (long slow distance) run.  I decided on the LSD because of my intentions to race the half marathon on Sunday.  
Wed - at home yoga (  Super yoga classes and they offer a free class each week, 3 miles easy, and 5 X 1 min planks
Thurs. - 9 @ 9:50 avg
Fri - 5 miles easy
Sat. - walk 30 min
Sun - Rock n Roll New Orleans half marathon.  13.17 miles,  1:48:18 unofficial time, 8:13 avg pace.  

Headed down to New Orleans Saturday afternoon.  Had plans to meet up with some friends at the expo and go to dinner.  Love spending time with friends who share a passion for running, such a treat.  We woke up to GREAT running weather in New Orleans.   I think it was around 40 degrees at the start and the humidity was low, especially for New Orleans.  oh happy day, oh happy Ginny!  Would have preferred to warm-up for a mile prior to the race, but after checking my bag, no time.  With the cool temps, warming up is not as important for me personally(although it would be better).  If it's warm and humid it seems that I really need to warm up to get my breathing regulated.  My PR pace is 8:11 pace, so this morning my intention was to go out at 8:20 for the first 2 miles and "see how I felt."  I have never raced a half marathon after running this many miles the wk of the race.  I planned to train through this race, but also wanted to "race it."  Race it as much as possible considering the mileage this week. 
1 mile - 8:20 perfect.  I had worried about the larger RnR race.  Not a big fan of racing the larger races because of the "bob and weave."  Today, I was pleasantly surprised.  It wasn't too bad.  I was able to get on pace immediately.  
2nd mile - 8:21, time to pick it up, feeling good, weather is GREAT.  
3rd - 8:08
4th - 8:11
5th - 8:12
6th - 8:09
7th - 8:13
8th - 8:02 (before this mile, I was on 8:12-8:14 avg pace, I made a conscious effort to pick it up to try to go under 8:11 pace (under pr pace)  Success!  The challenge - now hold it.
9th - 8:13 - no luck!
10th - 8:19
11th - 8:11
12th - 8:15,
13th - 8:20
.1 - 1:19

Race observations - I run through the water stops - grab the water, and drink on the run.  Today, I noticed in 2 of the later water, grab and runs, it took me an extended time to recover from the drinking the water.  Had to take deep breathes to try to calm myself. 

Mantra for the day...."Be Great Today!"  I used this over and over and I want to thank Jim over at 50 after 40
It was a beautiful sunny day in New Orleans and the thought kept going over and over in my mind.  Great weather, beautiful day, feeling good - why not Be Great Today  It helped me many times during the race to think about the fact that I really had no reason NOT to Be Great Today 
(great for me...whatever that is).  

Although I do not have the official time yet, unofficially, I was within 52 seconds away?? from my half marathon PR.  So I finished the race feeling great about it.  I ran 20 miles on Tues., and ended the week with 62.5 miles for the week, and know that I'm near PR shape.  

After the half, I rested for a while and then headed back out to the full marathon course to try to find James, to see him finish.  I made it out to mile 25, and James was approaching.  I ran the last mile with him.  James is an amazing athlete, an Ironman, a hard trainer, a serious trainer.  He inspires many along his training journey.  I was able to run the last 1.2 with him.   This is one of my favorite things to do.  I enjoy finding friends on the marathon course, and running the last few miles when it's getting ugly for all of us.  Several years ago, I had a very special friend who drove down to Stennis, for the solo purpose of running the last 6-8 miles of my marathon PR attempt.  With her help, it was a success. (3:59 PR on that day - thanks Amber - it's still special to me, after 3.5 years).  It was so special to me, that she would drive over an hour, just to try to help me hold the pace at the end.  
As I'm driving back to MS with New Orleans in the rear view mirror, I'm feeling happy....I'm feeling like it was a GREAT day in New Orleans.  As my thoughts turn to my training for the next week, I'm thinking I will taper less than ever before.  For the past few marathons, I have been tapering less than I previously did, but this time, I will taper even less.   As you guys know, I am experimenting with many things, and this is just another thing I want to try.  I will taper, but it will be about a 2 wk taper.  For the upcoming week, I will try to get in around 55 miles with some quality workouts,  and then I will begin the taper the following wk.   The last 2 wks, I will basically be reducing the mileage a little but keeping the quality runs in place up until Tues., of marathon wk.   I have considered this many times, but after my results today, I feel like I race best as my intensity and mileage increases.  I know the taper is important, and I totally understand why it is recommended, but I want to experiment with less taper to see what happens.

(So again, I say, don't follow this blog for training advice.  I'm totally experimenting with what may, or may not work for Ginny.)  


Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

Great race! Especially on a high-miles week. I don't taper much myself but I have noticed that when I RACE more but RUN less I race faster. I rarely run everyday anymore.
Wasn't the weather the best today???

Tri-James said...

Your offical results - CHIP TIME 1:48:18

As I said earlier - you made the last mile the best on a tough day. Thank you so much!

Jennifer said...

Ginny, you inspire me so much! From you I learned it's OK to experiment and to try new things. Your positive attitude is so infectious, thanks!

Amanda@runninghood said...

Great race. Great energy you have! I feel excited about running and life whenever i visit your blog. And Love the mantra...Be great today! Yes!!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

I guess your 20 miler on Tuesday didn't take too much out of you. After such a great race, you must be so excited about the marathon! Can't wait to hear how that goes.

Stephanie said...

20+ mile run and a half marahton all in the same week? Awesome job!!!

Jill said...

EXCELLENT race, especially with all those miles! You're BA to the core!

I generally do a 2-week taper for the last few marathons too (when was that?? So long ago I can't even remember - ha!)...just find what works best, trial and error is the only way sometimes!

lindsay said...

Umm. You ran a PR (or practically) in a 62+ mile week?!? Hello yes you are in PR shape!

HappyTrails said...

Awesome job, Ginny! You are in the groove and on the right track to have a fantastic race, Your taper plans make a lot of sense and I think will serve you well. Have a great week!

Christine said...

WOW!! Great job on the race,even though you had a high mileage week!! Way to go !!

Katie said...

Nice race! Your trainng sounds great! I'm running a half on Sunday. I'll try to follow your example.

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Thanks Ginny for the kind words. I just saw them, I've been a little busy at work and I'm just now catchin' up. I gave you a little shout out in my post today (wednesday).

runnergirl training said...

Good post! Nice & even splits on your race! I'm a new follower on your blog! :)

Terry said...

Ginny, great day in NO. Missed you, you were running too fast. :)) I watched our crew do the 26.2. What a day!!!Congrats!! Ruth

Terry said...

ps, tried your peanut butter cookie recipe, added some oatmeal, everyone loved them. !!!!! Thanx Ginny, Ruth

Meg said...

Nice run, Ginny!
I loved your comment about experimenting. I think that we all have to find what works for us as individuals. We all have different lives, schedules, goals and gifts and it's not easy to work off of one set calendar designed for the masses! I ran with a friend yesterday who is also doing a lot of experimenting with tapering and progression runs. I loved listening to his insights and then I read your post and it came together. Love it!
Enjoy your self-imposed long weekend :) !