Just as an update to my post last week, I did run the Davis Moonlight Half Marathon on Saturday night. My best (and only) half marathon time was 2:00:28. I have spent the last 2 ½ months doing strength training and have only been running 2-3 times a week. Usually a long run (7 miles), an interval or tempo run, and a 3-4 shorter run each week. I was going to take it easy during the race, but I decided at the event that I was just going to go for it and see what I could do.
First of all, the night race experience was totally different because you have a full day of increased adrenaline and anxiety. It was fairly hot (around 90 degrees) with a 10 mph wind. I decided I would try to stick with the 1:55:00 pace group. I started out strong, but lost sight of the 1:55:00 pace group after about a mile. I was able to realize how important all of the strength and interval training as the race progressed. I was stronger on hills and my endurance lasted almost the whole race. I was able to finish in 1:59:01, which is surprising considering that I have not done more than 7 miles in the last 2 ½ months. I think having a stronger core and building endurance definitely were the reasons why I did so well. So now I start my training for the next half marathon.
Today is the beginning of my 12 week training cycle to prepare for the Urban Cow Half Marathon on October 5th. I am going to follow the Hal Higdon “Intermediate” training. Almost every serious runner that I have talked to has suggested the Hal Higdon training plans over any other plans. There are plans for every level of runner from 5k to full marathon plans. They are free and easy to follow. You can find them at www.halhigdon.com.
The training that I am following consists of 5 runs a week (mostly easy pace). There is a rest day and a stretch and strengthen day in there too. I am so excited to start my new training cycle and I will keep everyone posted on how it is going. Please feel free to comment on plans that have worked well for you.