Where did January go? I was shocked when I realized January was almost over and that I should probably recap how my training for the Cleveland Half-Marathon went. The marathon and half marathon take place in mid-May. I feel reluctant even qualifying January as the “kick-off” month to my half-marathon training in the dead of winter.
Between being sluggish, belaboring over the four pounds I gained after the holidays and being sick, I didn’t see much progress this month in my training. I’ve also struggled with finding a new groove in my training plan in between personal commitments and attending yoga classes that interest me.
Dead of Winter
Overall I covered 23 miles in January, which is truly a month in the dead of winter. I also practiced yoga and managed to do a few cross-training workouts like using the elliptical and attending kickboxing class. But I’m my own worst critic when it comes to half marathon training, and I see a lot of room for improvement. Here’s my training schedule for the next month:
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I hope February bodes well for my training plan. Right now, I’m yearning to get out there again myself and run more. Before spring hits, I also decided to buy some running gear I need. First, I purchased the Brooks Essential Run Jacket. If you would like to know more about how I selected a running jacket, check out my tutorial post.
Anticipating spring showers, I also bought the Nike Feather Light Cap. I think it was a good idea to wait until the end of January to make the purchases. Being it’s the off-season, I got both items for less than $50 total. I’m hoping my new gear will help put that extra spring in my step as I hit the pavement in February. I also use a Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Watch for all of my outdoor runs to track pace and distance.
We are now in February which is still the dead of winter. Without access to a treadmill, I haven’t run in 12 days. My training has taken a hit recently due to being sick (again). Two weeks ago we had a break in the weather and accomplished every scheduled workout on my training plan.
As of late I’ve been going on walks, using the elliptical and practicing light yoga at home. I have an 8-mile long run planned this weekend and I will be taking a few studio yoga classes. As far as my training plan for the next eight weeks, I’m still sticking to my three-day a week running plan (as shown in the table above). My weekly long run is most vital to complete.
I’m still eager to run the Cleveland Half-Marathon, although as I near May and realize I’ve had a number of missed workouts, I am not sure how I’ll fare in securing a personal record. A PR would be great and I know I can run faster than my current PR which I set last fall at the Cleveland Fall Classic. However, I’m not positive I’ll be ready for that in less than two months.
If my half-marathon PR doesn’t happen this May I’m hoping to tackle another half in the fall. Spring and fall are usually choice seasons for obtaining a PR because of the milder temperatures. This will be my biggest half-marathon race to date (close to 20,000 runners expected) and, likely, the most scenic course I have run.
March and April Update
We are finally out of the dead of winter and I had hoped to end my last two weeks of half-marathon training with a bang. Instead this training cycle sounds like the same disaster it’s been for the last few months: skipped workouts, sub-par runs and a lack of energy and motivation. I’m still very much excited to run the Cleveland Half-Marathon.
However, it’s been a slow realization, for me that a PR is unlikely. I’m now trying to overcome my (unreasonable) fears of coming in last place. Maybe this is a slow runner fear, but I’m always sizing up the competition. I know I won’t come out on top, but please, not at the bottom.
In terms of running gear, April is also a great time to buy new running shoes. I always make sure to wear the shoes on several runs so they are broken in prior to race day. Never run a race wearing new shoes for the first time. New running shoes are a great motivator during the dead of winter training cycle.
I was traveling for business all of last week and didn’t hit many of my workouts. My diet and sleep patterns were also off. I came back Saturday and set out for my last long run of this training cycle (10 miles) and I only made it about four miles. I really beat myself up over it.
My energy was low and my mental game was not there. I have also been dealing with allergy problems. However, I realized this is not the end of the world. I’m still sticking to my plan of running and enjoying the race. No matter how much I try to recreate the energy and excitement of a half-marathon during a training run – I can’t.
I am now entering half-marathon week and I’m hoping to crank out some shorter runs and some strength-training. I also have rest days scheduled for Friday and Saturday. I also am reminding of what happened before my last half-marathon.
Before the race, I got sick and didn’t run for 10 days straight. This meant I ended up missing out on the last few training runs. However, I still managed a PR on race day. Let’s see what the Cleveland Half-Marathon will bring on Sunday.
How you do you garner training inspiration in the dead of winter?