Training Recap: Wilmington Historic Half Marathon
Well, here we are. Training is finished and the race is a few days away. Like every training cycle, things didn’t go according to plan. However, I got through the training - actual training, not some slog trying to masquerade as training. That’s a first in several years. And that alone is an accomplishment and something to celebrate. I’m pretty sure the last time that happened was back in 2015 when I trained for the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon (which, incidentally, is my current half marathon PR).
Even though training didn’t go as planned and I ran into hiccups along the way, like scheduling challenge, a near injury with foot pain from completely worn-out shoes, and an unexpected illness with one of my dogs, I got myself through it. In doing so, I had to prioritize running over everything else, so my strength training fell to the wayside. This is not ideal, but my schedule challenges this fall required it. As I go into marathon training (yikes!), I want to add those back in, including barre workouts.
Realistically, this training cycle wasn’t about gaining speed (I did no speedwork and no races). It was about rebuilding what I’ve lost over the past few years - health, strength, my baseline speed, and probably most importantly, my confidence. During this training cycle, I’m pretty sure I ran more long runs over 10 miles than I ever have for any training cycle (except marathon training in 2012), including a 13 miler at a 9:00/mile pace. That alone is a confidence booster.
I’m also fairly certain, I upped my average miles per week from other training cycles (um…including marathon training - seriously). At the very least, I was on par with Myrtle Beach training.
|  Week 1||  6 miles, 2 runs (hurricane evacuation)|
|  Week 2||  23 miles, 4 runs, Long run = 9 miles
|  Week 3||  22 miles, 4 runs, Long run = 10 miles|
|  Week 4||  26 miles, 4 runs, Long run = 11 miles|
|  Week 5||  21 miles, 3 runs, Long run = 9 miles||  Week 6||  20 miles, 3 runs, Long run = 11 miles|
|  Week 7||  30 miles, 5 runs, Long run = 12 miles|
|  Week 8||  12 miles, 2 runs, 2 run/walk/limp, No long run (pain in right foot that kept me from running)||  Week 9||  21 miles, 4 runs, Long run = 10 miles|
|  Week 10||  28 miles, 4 runs, Long run = 13 miles||  Week 11 - Taper||  12 miles, 3 runs, "Long run" = 5 miles (lots of family in town for Thanksgiving, schedule craziness)|
|  Week 12 - Rest/Taper||  17 miles, 3 runs, Wilmington Half Marathon|
|  Totals||  235 Total Miles / 6 long runs at 10+ plus miles|
I’m not totally thrilled with the weather forecast for race day. It’s supposed to be a little warmer (60s/70s) and more humid (90s), with a higher dew point than we’ve had lately, but I’m not letting that get into my head too much. I can’t control the weather, and humidity and dew points are my nemesis, but I’m working with what I’ve got and I’m going to push as much as I can on race day.
And that’s the big question right now. How much can I push? Going in with zero races in this training cycle and no speedwork to speak of doesn’t give me a good idea of how much I can push beyond my regular, easy paces.
But I’m not here to complain about my shortcomings. I’m here to celebrate what I actually did do this training cycle. In my first real training cycle in 3 years, and after battling back from illnesses that wiped out my strength and speed, I’m proud to be here. Today. Ready to race. Physically, mentally. I’m ready. And it’s been a long, long time since I could say that.
So on race day, I’m going to do what I can with what I’ve got, and I’m hoping it’s good enough for that day. And from there, I’ll continue to rebuild.