11 of 52: Half Marathon Training

Wait. What?

Why on earth would I run half marathon training? Am I not already running half marathon distance every week? Yes. Am I not crazy enough? Yes, of course (but not as crazy as Jimmy who ‘accidentally’ ran a 50k!). Well if you know me you know I did it for the company. To see my friends. To take a moment to look around and make sure I’m not the only fool running on a Saturday morning when the bed is warm and the eylids are… well, closed.

Striders Half Marathon Training

The Annapolis Striders offer to their members a variety of training programs for a variety of distances. These programs offer training plans, online support (email and Facebook groups) and of course a supported (water and some supervision provided) long run on the weekends.

If you’re going after a longer distance or trying to improve your time, I highly recommend falling into one of these. If you aren’t in the Annapolis area a quick online search should reveal a similar running club near you. There really is no substitute for knowing you are not alone in your efforts.

Besides – where else will you find about 100 other runners on a cold Saturday morning in January?

The Run

It was – COLD. Relatively speaking. This was the coldest run I’ve been on in awhile but even at a brisk 29 degreesI have to admit it really wasn’t that bad after the first couple miles.

I don’t know which is more concerning. The temperature or the time!

Although I warmed up – my nutrition did not. I thought I was being pretty slick by pre opening my Clif shots – and it did save me the hassle of trying to open them before the tips of my fingers froze off however cutting the top off of the package does NOT prevent them from turning into very chewy ice blocks!

Cutting the top off saved me from trying to open it with cold fingers, but it didn’t keep these from freezing!

The group was running 6 miles (the first week of 12) so I would need to add on another 7. I decided to run the first 6 with the group and then just do it again (plus a little) on my own. I didn’t make any plans to run long with anyone so I would just take my chances.

I saw a bunch of people at the start including coaches Michael and Kelly, the friendliest man on the trail – Bruce! – and some Tri Club friends Chris and Virginia. After dragging my feet to get started I eventually caught up to Butch (which took some doing!) and since he was by himself I invited myself to run with him. Come to think of it – I really never did ask if it was OK. That’s how it is sometimes – you just find a friend running a similar pace and next thing you know you’re talking about music and composition and arranging and – oh wait. 6 miles are done already?! Thanks for the run Butch!

I missed my chance to run with Kim and Dave at around mile 10. They were running much further south than I needed to go and I did not put it together that I could have just turned around when it was time. I blame the early hour and temperature.

I hit the 3/4 mark and found myself a little bored on my own. Since this is my 11th straight week running this distance I thought – “let’s work some faster intervals into the last 3 miles”. What could possibly go wrong?

The trail is lined with telephone poles so I decided to run from pole 1 to pole 2 at race pace, then the next two a little faster than the one before and so on – up to the fourth pole. Then walk to the next one (or two) before repeating the cycle. Looks like I did that 7 times before settling back into my easy pace until the finish.

All those little intervals at the end.

It was fine actually and I will continue to work in some speed on these runs here and there as it makes sense. More on this in next week’s report.

At the finish I got to catch up a little bit with Dan who had just finished his own 12 mile run.

Not the Run

During the run with Butch I was talking about how I just cannot seem to fully develop my musical ideas and he said something that is just so obvious and (of course) applicable to so many things. It just takes practice.

So this past week I let go of the “shame” around not “finishing” the music I start. It has kept me from just sitting down to engage the process for awhile. I’ll go through fits and spurts without any consistency or deliberate practice. In the past week I’ve put down 7 new musical ideas and posted 4 of them to SoundCloud.

I’m not concerned about the quality per se or how good I think they are – I’m just showing up every day to practice. I’m already noticing a lot more competence in the software as well as remembering more and more long lost music theory. Looking forward to seeing what lies ahead. Follow me on sound cloud if you’re interested.

Next Week: Treadmill Time Machine

One Comment

  1. Well as usual you didn’t fail me. I look forward every week to reading your long run recap report. You have a gift in your writing that makes me feel like I’m on the run with you (maybe because I too am a runner)? Anyway thanks for bringing me along on your journey!

    Liked by 1 person


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