Fitness Update: Going the Distance

Last week was a week that saw me take another leap of faith, as I signed up for my first half-marathon (in November). I’m still having trouble coming to terms with that one, but I’m hoping that I have enough time to build up for it. Help me!

Monday, 3/3:

2.53 miles on the treadmill in 31 minutes (12:15 average pace). It started out really crappy but got better about a mile in. I closed really strong with the last couple of minutes around a 10:00 pace. It was nice to see that regardless of rough starts, I can get it together and have a strong run.

I also took a leap of faith tonight, but I’ll put that in another thread.

From the other thread:

I took a major leap of faith tonight. I registered for Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon. I’m now suffering through what I’m calling Registrant’s Remorse, similar to Buyer’s Remorse, where once you go past the point of no return, you question your sanity in deciding to go for it.

My wife tried to persuade me not to do it, not because she didn’t have faith in my ability, but more because the fall is the time of year when our son gets sick most often. I decided that, if I have to eat the cost of the race, I would, but if he’s healthy I’m going to run it. I can always transfer the money for any Southwest flight that I book, and I can move Disney reservations up until the last week, so that should minimize my exposure.

Now that I’m in, I just have to figure out how I’m going to get from 10K in May to 13.1 miles in November. That’s more than 2.1 times the distance. I could probably train to walk the whole thing easily. I was walking 10K last summer. But I want to at least run/walk this. So I’ll need to switch to run/walk after I finish my May races. I’ll see how far I get in shifting the run/walk percentage come fall.

I considered holding off for the half during the WDW Marathon weekend to appease my wife, but I’d need to get up at 3 a.m. for that one. Wine & Dine is the only Disney half run at night. It’s a 10:00 start, so I’d be pulling in to the finish around 1 a.m., but since I’m a night owl, that’s fine by me.

So now, assuming that my son is healthy, I have to figure out what I’m doing. [Forum experts], once I finish going through the plans that I’ve downloaded and come up with a tentative plan of attack, I’d love to get your feedback on my resulting plan.

In the meantime, folks, please tell me that I’m not crazy!

After an outpouring of support:

Thanks for the support, everyone! I’m not sure why I’m getting credit for being younger than I am, but I appreciate it. Actually, I turn 50 next month. In fact, I’ve got a flurry of races to celebrate being healthier as I turn 50 (see my sig, I won’t repeat it here).

I’ve thought from the beginning that the Wine & Dine was the perfect half for me because of the late start time and because it’s Disney. (I wrote about Disney on a weekly basis for a decade at a site called I may even write a story on the Everest Challenge for the site in May.)

I’m glad that I jumped on it when I did. That made it my decision. The race sold out in about 27 hours. If I waited and missed my opportunity, I would’ve been upset that the decision was taken out of my hands.

Now I have until after my May race flurry to come up with a working plan. I’m gonna wish upon a star on this one and hope that the Blue Fairy turns me into a real boy….er….a real half marathoner!

Thanks again, everyone!

Wednesday, 3/5:

The concert last night was awesome. Despite their ages, Paul Simon and Sting still both sound great. However, by the time we got back up to Albany, dropped off my mother-in-law, got my son through his meds and into bed, and then got everything ready for today, I wasn’t in bed until around 3:30. Up at 7:30 to get ready for work, then straight to workouts. Whose brilliant idea was this?

Group training run was a 3.5 mile run with speed intervals. It was supposed to be 2 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy intervals, but most people didn’t have watches and we were very spread out, so we kind of had to guess at the times. Add in a brutal, bitter wind, and it was a really tough workout. But we survived and we finished! Average pace for me was below 12:00, so that was great. After we got back, I had a little over a half-hour to recover and get ready for strength training. Another tough workout, with heavier weights than the last time. I was exhausted by the end. I will sleep well tonight, and tomorrow is a much-needed rest day.

Friday, 3/7:

Tonight I was totally not feeling it before I went out, but once I got out there it turned out to be a great easy 2.2 mile run at a sub-12:00 pace on a beautiful starry night! Now I just have to recover before our 4.5 mile group run at 8 a.m. tomorrow. Then easy 3 miles on Sunday afternoon.

We’re back down to 4 workouts next week, which will be good because that’ll give me two consecutive SRDs [scheduled rest days] before my 4-mile race on Saturday (which I had almost forgotten about). A number of my teammates will be there as well, so it should be fun.

Whoops! Almost forgot! This morning, I finally broke the 50-pounds-lost mark after 371 days! 50.5 pounds today. I’ll probably continue to bounce up and down, but the mark has been broken. 40 more pounds to go!

Saturday, 3/8:

We did about 4.5 miles for our group run today, running about 3/4 of the course of our goal race. Overall it was a good run, but HOLY CRAP the hill (or valley) in the middle of the course is an absolute killer! It’s about halfway between the start and the turnaround. Going out, it’s a 6.5% grade down and 6.8% grade back up, then reversed on the way back. Granted it’s short (about a quarter-mile total, down 48 feet/up 43 feet, then reverse) but it’s nasty. I guess the hill workout on Wednesday will help with that. Final pace was 13:11 due to having to walk up some of the hill each way, but it was a good workout and I’m satisfied.

Three miles tomorrow afternoon, two and a half Tuesday, 3.5 hills Wednesday, then two days off before the race on Saturday. Strength on Monday and Wednesday. Merrily we roll along!

Sunday, 3/9:

I love that I’m going to have more daylight to run in!

I got out this afternoon for a 3-miler. Did 3.11 in 38:17 for a 12:18 pace. Total mileage for the week: 15.8, my highest total to date. This week was also a record for duration, calories burned, elevation climb, and number of activities. Today also put me over 100 miles for the year and 400 miles since last March. Movin’ on up!

I was not expecting wind gusts up to 30 mph this afternoon, which made me really want to drop to a walk a number of times, but I pushed through. Overall, it was a nice run, though a little calmer winds would’ve been helpful.

Strength tomorrow, 30 minute run Tuesday, group 3.5 mile hill workout Wednesday, then two rest days before the 4-mile race on Saturday.

Since you’ve read this far, a cryptic heads-up about something cool. Keep an eye out for the New Runner Week feature on the Runner’s World website on Friday. Just sayin’….

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