Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Second Half Marathon Training: Week 9

Well, this week was the week of almosts.  Of getting about 90%.  Of testing my limits and finding them.  Of just not quite having the juice to put up rock solid times, but close enough that I feel good about it.  The saying is close only counts for horseshoes and hand grenades, but I think it works for training too.  When close is still putting in the miles, and still feeling pushed to the limit, I’ll take it.

Monday’s run foretold a lot.  As I complained about here, I was just not recovered from my long run + epic night of drinking + crap food.  I’ve done that same workout before minus a mile, and I’ve never felt so bleh during a sprint before.  I made it through the first two, and *probably* could have held on during the third, but since I had four to do, I went ahead and slowed from sprint to tempo pace.  I was a little disappointed, but overall, it was not so bad.  I put in the miles, and just barely missed the mark.

Wednesday was the run I was super excited/nervous about.  I totally prepared, did everything right, and then I got to mile 6 and had to slow down or I was not going to make it.  On that day, I was simply unable to run that pace for that many miles.  6 miles or 7 miles?  I could have done it.  Not 8.

Saturday’s 11 mile run, I made the awesome decision/mistake to tackle the hill that fucked me up last week TWICE.  I just didn’t recover well after it, and most of my latter miles were either just under or just over the 10 min/mile pace.  I did finish the run at a 9:57 pace, and considering miles 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10 were uphill, I”m calling this a win.  I think I’m going to pick something a little flatter for my 12 miler to see if I can hit the 9:40 pace.

So that being said, I’m feeling like I did what I could, though I am definitely starting to feel some muscle fatigue that isn’t recovering in my days between runs.  So – this training method is MUCH better than the run-more one, but it is not impervious.  Oh well.  The good news is that now my tempo runs start to taper, and two weeks from now, so does everything else.  So I just have to tell my stumps-for-legs that they just have to hold out a LITTLE longer, and then we can start getting rested for the race.

I still feel badass, I still feel strong, but I don’t really feel untouchable anymore.  Which is ok.  I was getting to be a little Cockypants McGee and while confidence is good, having some runs that don’t go your way helps you learn.  I learned a lot from the runs this week.  And though I could certainly have hoped for a little more out of all three, I definitely refreshed my memory on how to recover a run that’s not going my way and still kick about 90% as much ass.

By the numbers:

Monday: 4x 1600 sprints @ 8:25 pace  – check (did 2 @ pace and then 2 @ 8:50)

Tuesday: DDR circuits – check

Wednesday: 8 mile tempo @ 8:55 pace – check (ended up at 9:07 pace)

Thursday: DDR circuits – check

Friday: off

Saturday: 11 mile run @ 9:40 pace – check (ended up at 9:57 pace)

Sunday: off – actually cross trained (6 mile hike around the hood) for next week due to a) beautimous day and b) weekday shenanigans, so I can have an extra day off.

So, next week.  This week and next week, and then it’s taper.  Getting close!  Less than a month away!

Monday: 6×800 sprints @ 8:10 pace (4:05 per 800)

Tuesday: DDR circuits

Wednesday: yoga/off

Thursday: 6 mile tempo run

Friday: yoga/off

Saturday: 15k race pace (shooting for somewhere under 9:40)

Sunday: off

So a little less mileage, but 3 super intense fast pace runs.  If I can get through Monday’s on not-completely-rested legs, I think I will be alright.  Send good, happy, zippy thoughts!  What do you do when you’re partway through a run (or workout) and don’t think you’re going to make it?


Deep and Meaningful…


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  1. Miz

    Id love the insights about the “halfway through a run” as for me when Im halfway through ANYTHING else I can convince myself that Ive started I may as well finish!
    and with the weights I never wanna quit 🙂

    the run? I start chanting in my head I CAN DO THIS I CAN DO THIS
    which works some days and others? notsomuch

  2. That header picture may be the funniest-yet-most-horrifying thing I’ve ever seen. Seriously: dude could give Pennywise a run for his money on the creep-o-meter.

    I’m just in awe of what you’re able to do. Even if you aren’t putting up quite the numbers you’d like, I hope you realize that you’re doing some amazing stuff.

  3. YOU CAN YOU CAN YOU CAN!!!! Sending you positive energy today!!

  4. Syl

    you can do anything!

    Thanks for your comment. The classes I take twice a week are at a community hall and not overly intense and the running a few times a week probably shorter runs just to keep it up. If it’s all too much i am willing to back off because the 1/2 marathon is most important to me right now, I think the dvd’s will help strengthen me for the run. i know that after I finished the shred I noticed a big difference! here’s hoping 🙂

  5. How cool that we are thinking about doing the same marathon. Our halfs are pretty close to each other too. Mine is on 2/21.This will be my first one so if you have any advice, I’d love to hear it.


    I can’t remember if I mentioned it before, but I grew up in Texas. My heart is in Austin and we will be moving back there this August.

  6. You always offer me so many words of encouragement! I wanted you to know that reading what you are going through pushes me to achieve my own personal best. I hope that when I start my marathon training (who am I kidding? I have started my training!) I can turn to you for advice!
    Get it girl. Get it, get it girl.
    Alison 🙂

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