I didn’t say very much about it on the blog, I really wanted to break 60 minutes at the St. Patrick’s Day 10K on Sunday. Having that goal made me really nervous for the race. I think everyone has running milestones they would like to achieve and a sub-60 10K has always been a big one for me. The last time I did that was back in April 2010 when I set my 10K PR of 55:10…four years ago!!!
If you are new around the blog here is the short story…I raced Ironman Canada in August 2010. Training for that race completely burned me out and I fell off the fitness wagon for several months after the race. Let’s just say that eating like I’m still training for an Ironman but not actually training for one is a bad idea.
I lost a lot of mojo, I gained weight and I slowed down. Eventually the desire to train and race came back, but since then it has been a long and slow crawl back to where my fitness was in 2010. It felt like progress came easily back when I first got in to running. Now I feel like I’m fighting tooth and nail sometimes.
Last year I stepped away from a lot of long distance racing and focused on running a few half marathons. I figured sticking with the shorter stuff would help to get me back to where I wanted to be. My old athletic, PR setting self. In May I raced the BMO Vancouver Half and finished in 2:20:09…bang on with what I thought I was capable of at the time.
In July I did the run portion of the Calgary 70.3 on a relay team. I wasn’t specifically training for a half marathon at the time, but I had enough fitness coming off of my Great White North Half Ironman training. For an ill-prepared half marathon I finished in 2:18:25. A nice little improvement over BMO!
I spent July and August preparing for the Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon. I figured that with the extra time to train a 2:15 half should be within my grasp. For whatever reason on race day it just wasn’t possible. My legs were not interested in holding that pace and I finished 2:20:47.
Looking for a little redemption in November I figured I would try my hand at the Last Chance Half Marathon. I knew a half marathon in Calgary in November was taking a chance as you could have any kind of weather that day. It turns out that the weather sucked that day…it was cold and icy. Even then my legs were not capable of going fast enough to hit that goal. Half way through the race I slipped, fell, hit my head and then it was a walk/shuffle/cry to the finish line in 2:38:10.
When I looked at my half marathon finish times in 2013 I really didn’t see the progress I had hoped to have over the course of the year.
Since that race in November I’ve poured my heart into the off season…building strength on the bike and with winter trail running. I’ve been lifting weights. I even managed to drop a few pesky pounds thanks to my Whole30 in January. I’ve been confronting those scary interval runs head on. I’ve been enjoying the training and I haven’t been stressing over pacing…I’m just pushing myself to do the best I can.
Coach Angie said we could talk goals for the BMO Vancouver Half after my spring 10K races. Doing a little handy dandy math with a race predictor calculator I knew I needed to break an hour on Sunday if we wanted to talk about a 2:15 goal for Vancouver. Interestingly enough my last 10K time from the fall had my previous half marathon times pegged.
And what does the calculator say now?
I’m still a ways off of my old PR times…but I’m seeing progress. My hard work in the off season is paying off and improvement doesn’t feel as unattainable as it once did. I still have one more 10K to go in April so we will see where that one shakes out. I’m feeling some good confidence from Sunday and I just need to keep doing what I’m doing.
Have you had setbacks during training? What helped you to get back?