CPC Half Marathon
March 13, 2020

In the last view weeks I’ve talked about all the things I was going to do that would help me run faster and try to run a half marathon under 1 hour 30 minutes. So let’s look at how my preparation for that went. In my training schedule for the 40 days leading up to the race, I always tend to move things around a bit, seeing that things always come up and you need to be able to be a little bit flexible with days. Once I completed something I turned it green, so I’m happy to say there is a lot of green on the schedule.

I planned 3 runs per week and leg exercises twice a week, the first week that worked out well, but with the leg exercises I like to mix up the exercises with some upper body exercises, like push ups and pull ups. In week 2 I pulled something in my shoulder while doing pull ups and I couldn’t finish my exercises, I wasn’t able to run anymore with the pain in my shoulder so I had to take it real easy for a few days. After 5 days I started my runs again, but decided that for the remainder of the training I would stay away from doing upper body exercises.

I was careful building it up again, but after a week I could pick up pretty much where I left off. Then in week 4 our little bunny BB got sick, for some reason she stopped eating, now bunnies have to eat all day long, if they don’t eat their system shuts down and they die. So we rushed her to the vet who couldn’t find anything wrong, he gave some antibiotics and a tube to force feed her, so we spent quite a bit of time doing that, I can tell you it’s not an easy task to force feed a bunny. All the vet visits and the extra attention for BB cut into my schedule a bit and made me miss a few training days. It took a long time of force feeding and giving medication, but she got better. We didn’t expect it anymore, the vet had even said we probably had to put her down so she wouldn’t suffer anymore, but it turned out she had an infection in her mouth that wasn’t visible at first, she was operated on and now she is a happy bunny again.

So I missed some of my training days, but there is a lot of green on the schedule still. Now 40 days to train is not a lot of time, but I was coming off of training for the Dopey challenge where I ran a marathon in January, so it wasn’t the distance I was training for. The 40 days were to try and get faster at running the half marathon. My last half marathon I ran in 1 hour 38 minutes 41 seconds, my Personal Best is from 2017 at 1 hour 37 minutes 44 seconds, but that was from before I was always running with a camera. Filming my races and pretty much most of my training runs has made me run differently and has made me run slower. So setting this goal, training this way, not having the camera with me on any of the runs was a big change in my training, but something I needed in order to get faster. The thing about getting faster is though, the faster you get the harder it becomes to improve. If you run a half marathon in 3 hours and you train a lot you might run it in 2 and a half hours, but when you run it 1 hour and 40 minutes it gets tough to get even 1 minute off that time, it’s not impossible, but it will take a lot of work to make what seems to be a lot less improvement. But the goal was in 40 days shave off 9 minutes, with the training schedule and the rest of the 20 tips I shared in the video series. So let’s have a look at how that went.

Man this race was a tough one. There was a lot of wind and the race was in the afternoon, which I’m not a big fan of, I prefer to run my races early in the morning, but yeah, you can’t control everything. Out of the 20 tips a lot of things had to do with prepping for the race, like training, food intake, hydration, weight loss. And I had all of that covered, I drank my beet juice, wore my best running gear and I felt ready for the race.
One thing I didn’t mention in the 20 tips, because I had not used it before and only tested it once, but I thought might help me during the race was caffeine. I took a shot of 80mg of caffeine before the race. I don’t drink coffee, tea or caffeinated energy drinks, so this shot was for sure giving my body something it’s not used to. I tested it on my training and seeing that there was no bad reaction I decided to use it on race day.

I found the pace group for 1 hour 30 and lined up next to them at the start, only when the race started they moved to the middle of the corral and ended up somewhere behind me. So I didn’t actually go out with the pacers, which was the whole point, cause I didn’t want to go out to fast at the start of the race. I looked back a couple of times to see if they were right behind me, but I couldn’t see and didn’t want to waist my energy.

At the 5K marker I came in at 20:26, that is a 4:05 min per km, way faster than the 4:15 that I needed to be running. The next 5K got a little bit harder I kept checking my Stryd to see if my Running Power was ok, I was a little bit over, but figured if I could keep it up I was on the right track. I came in at 10K at 42 minutes, my fastest 10K time ever I think. I felt great seeing that clock, but I was having a hard time and needed to slow down right after I passed it. I stopped for water and the pace group ran past me, I tried to keep up but at 12K I kind of lost sight of them. I had to start taking my gel and soon after my jelly beans. At 15K I was struggling, there was a strange feeling in my stomach, I was really hot, I stopped to pour water over my head at all the water stops.

I knew from last time that once we get passed the beach at around 18K it was just one long straight road, I would have to push myself to just keep going and I would try to pick up the pace again. I was running out of breath and out of energy though, knowing that the 1:35 pace group was still behind me kept me going.

It brought me back to my first half marathon in Disneyland Paris in 2016, I was under trained and I had a tough time half way through, but I kept going cause I was determined to get to the finish. I did it then, I was trained now, I needed to push myself, but I really ran to that point where I thought it would be so much nicer to just walk the rest of the way. I enjoy my Disney races, I can’t get the smile of my face when I run at Disney. At this race I smiled twice and that was because I saw a photographer there, I was not having a good time, there was this pain in my side, I knew I couldn’t get under 1:30 and I was having a tough time going on, but there was this little voice in my head.
The positive attitude I talked about, the part of me that wants it more, I wanted to prove that the things I talked about, the training I had done did make a difference. So I pushed, the last 3K I just wanted to race to be over, but I pushed. I knew at the end was one last bend and then the end stretch to the finish. I had to get to that bend and then give it all I had left. And that’s what I did. I put every last bit of energy in that last stretch of the race. I crossed that finish line at 1:34:58 and got some great help from the first aid people at the finish who made sure I was okay and give me a power drink. I was beat, my body was drained, I felt dizzy, but I made it to the finish line.

Now I didn’t run under 1:30, but I did shave off almost 4 minutes from my last race time and I set a new Personal Record. Those 4 minutes may not seem like much, but to me that is huge. I only had 40 days, and with the circumstances I even missed some of that training time, so yeah, I’m very happy with the 4 minutes. It doesn’t get me the POT I wanted for Disneyland Paris yet, but it does prove that the things I’m doing work, my training has paid off and I improved by 4 minutes. OK, so I didn’t really have a great time during the race, but I ran it for a result and although the aim was different I’m still happy with the result I got. My training exercises, my training methods, they work, they made me faster and made me a better runner.
Now I’ve already shared a lot of tips with you leading up to the race, but I still have a bunch more and I will go over the exercises I did during my training that made me able to run faster in some upcoming videos, so subscribe to the channel down below. I also still have some videos from runs in Florida that I did, so I will catch you up on those soon too. Now it’s time for some recovery and then getting back to training for the marathon in April. Now until next time, get out there and run.

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