Thursday, November 5, 2009

2009 Training comes to a close with OBX

This Sunday is the Outer Banks Half Marathon, a race that I have had my eyes set on since March of this year. Coming into this race, I need to look at my 2009 year in running to see how I've prepared for this race, the pinnacle of my training for the past four months.

The first half of 2009 was almost a complete joke compared to the second half. In the spring, I couldn't break 18:15 on the flattest course for the life of me. I struggled with low iron through the South Park Race Fest Half marathon. My calf got strained in May...and the list goes on.

After that calf strain, a string of seemingly magical events unfolded that led to a turn around of my training. Aaron, Jay and I teamed up to get the Charlotte Running Club rolling, and suddenly I had five guys to run with. Then I had 10 guys to run with...and the there were 20 people on our long runs at Davidson in the summer. The next magical event was that we started doing things after runs at the Hepp-Hovis Training Facility after long runs...taking a dip in Lake Norman with some great company.

I also took a step away from the track, and instead focused on building my strength again, by increasing my mileage steadily without doing workouts. Aaron and I completely transformed our spring training plan, making it less track-centered and more quality-centered. Most of our runs were based on feel, and we cared less about the distance, and more about the effort (following the Kara Goucher plan). Instead of doing mile repeats, we ran hard for 6 minutes.

Most importantly, I began having more fun. Running because the social highlight of my day and I enjoyed practically every step that I pounded out there with Megan, Ben, Dan, Val, Danielle and Chad, Thomas, Jay, Aaron, Matt, Jocelyn, Kylee, Mike, Bill, and whoever else that may have joined us all. It's been a blast getting to know everyone, and it's cool to think that we're all helping each other in the same endeavor: to beat our latest PR.

Good luck to everyone this weekend!!!


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