After I wrote yesterday’s race recap, I thought it would be interesting to take a peak at all the data I’ve gleaned from my trusty watch over the course of the past few months.
To kick things off, here’s a peak at my total mileage:
In mid-February the tendon on the top of my foot started to scream at me, so I started to pull back a little. I had been running 6 days a week, and decided to take an extra rest day, while stupidly continuing to wear the boots to and from work that I’m almost certain caused the issue in the first place. When the issue didn’t resolve itself, I continued with the slightly lower mileage in March, though I had also replaced some of my runs with time on the elliptical, since it didn’t seem to bother me, so this lovely chart doesn’t account for that time. It was also in March that I discovered the magic cure-all that finally relieved the discomfort: unlacing the top eye of my shoe. Voila! On the mend. My mileage resumed in April. Highest mileage week was 48 miles, and I peaked out with my longest training run at 14 miles.
While I was following a training plan from Brad Hudson’s book, Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to Be Your Own Best Coach, I didn’t log my exact runs for each day/workout. My bad. Note to self: keep a more detailed training log next time around. The data from my watch is good, but it doesn’t tell everything, like my workout split times and all that jazz. I know, I know. Bad Sarah. I could comb through the training plan and figure out which workout corresponds with which day/week, but I also know that I shuffled and tweaked things quite a bit in February and March, so let’s just file this under “Next Time Around”.
I pulled up this race (Indy Mini-Marathon) to compare it to November’s race (Monumental Half Marathon). Both were in Indianapolis, so while the courses weren’t exactly identical, they were on similar terrain.
A few notes about my side-by-side performance:
- I ran tangents like a champ in November, clocking 13.12 miles, as compared with 13.32 miles this past weekend. Monumental is known to be a fast course, and I would agree that it really is/was perfect. Also, if you read my race recap then you know how much weaving I did to try to break through the very crowded course at the Mini-Marathon. If I had run 13.12 instead of 13.32 this past Saturday, I could have finished the race about a minute and a half faster.
- I started out too fast this past weekend, and would have to say I ran November’s race much smarter in starting out conservatively and then picking it up the pace. But November’s race also worked out better in terms of busting through the first couple of miles and then being in a comfortable, not too tight, pocket of runners, even though it was also a large race.
- The temperature this past weekend was in the low 60’s. In November it was 20-30 degrees cooler. Not sure if this was a factor, but not ruling it out either.
Just for fun, here’s the elevation map of the Mini-Marathon race course (107 foot gain):
Here’s an elevation map from my usual long run route (550 foot gain):
If nothing else, I can’t say I wasn’t prepared to trudge up hills!
Key takeaways from this past training period?
- Barring injury, I need to focus on more race pace training runs. I ended up doing shorter, faster intervals, and I’m not sure that even on a better day I could have out run my November time.
- Always go out conservatively. I have never ended up racing well when I’ve gone out too fast. Never.
- Knowing I had the experience I did at the Mini-Marathon, I will be much more likely to factor race size and start style into my future racing decisions, especially if I’m trying for a PR.
- I feel like my mileage from the past 4 months has given me a great springboard for my fall race training, and I’m excited to use those distances to push my speed. This training period wasn’t fruitless, and I’m ready to gear up to go again.
- The footwear I chose when I’m not running matters as much as what I wear when I’m training. My feet are not invincible. The funny thing about this is that the pair of boots I’m referring to were built for comfort/walking, they just pushed on the top of my foot in a weird way and after enough coming and going in I hit my breaking point. I’m sure the added stress of running didn’t help.