Wednesday, May 4, 2011

2011 St. Luke’s Lehigh Valley Half Marathon

Last Sunday I ran the half marathon with my daughter Jessica (her first half). We ran it in 2 hrs. 25 minutes which was 14 minutes faster than I did last year. More importantly I did not incur any injuries this year! We started out with a plan to complete our run in 2 hours and 30 minutes. As I need a good 10 to 15 minute warm up before running I contrived this elaborate strategy where we would walk the first mile then start running 30 seconds, walk a minute and continue increasing the run interval gradually, slowly increasing our speed and my heart rate to the ultimate cruising tempo until we were overrun by the 2:30 pace group and hang on to them until the end. Ah, the well laid plans of mice and men….we had to run from the start or be trampled to death, so for the first 5 or 6 miles we ran from the gun and my heart rate went way above the red line 85% of maximum I had set on my watch… so at that point I still felt great and we were even ahead of the 2:20 pace group so I set the interval timer to 1 minute run/30 second walk. We kept this run/walk interval to the end, were passed by the 2:20 pace group around mile 10 and were able to keep them in sight until the finish. We were never overtaken by the 2:30 pace group. So we were happy with our injury free run which was a PB for me and a first for Jessica.

Running longer than 10 miles is a new experience for me. Although I have been running since age 12, have been an avid bicyclist and have enjoyed walking, hiking and backpacking all my life I only recently have been participating in longer distance running. At first I approached the longer distances the same way I handled the shorter distances; run as fast as you can, gasping for breath, sprint for the finish. This worked for about 3 months and then turned into a laundry list of injuries and a constant cycle of train hard, injury, heal and repeat. After a few years of this I realized I was not having much fun so with the power of the Internet I researched what I was doing wrong and came up with a plan, which leads me to the next chapter. Tune in next week as I document what has been working for me, an aging athlete in quest of running longer distances and running for the rest of my life.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! I haven't posted yet but I was just a few minutes ahead of you.