Yesterday I ran the Zombie Half Marathon in Anchorage for the second year in a row. It was not the PR I was hoping for, but it did make me realize that I need a new PR plan. Not that I need to change my goal, but maybe I need to change something about my training (although I have changed that and I am definitely running faster overall than I ever have).
My last half marathon, it was, without a doubt, the heat that held me back. Today, I'm not really sure. My knee starting hurting very very badly around mile 8, but I'm not sure that was my problem. I know for sure that I had an excellent long run last week, maybe I peaked too soon. Was it mental? Probably part of it was. I started slowing down, and never really got back into the grove I had been in for the first 8 miles.
I realize it's not typical training strategy to treat your long runs like races, but maybe I need to do that. I know I definitely need to work on building strength and being nice to my muscles, because I think if my legs were stronger and I had spent more time stretching/foam rolling, my knee might not have hurt, or I might have been able to gut through the hard parts better.
I think that two races that were significantly slower than I have been running all summer means something is not working come race day. I guess my job now is to figure out what exactly that is!
I do know that I don't think I could have run any faster/harder and I was pretty much dead by the time that I was done (maybe it was the mile long hill up to the finish that did it?). That's good, because it means that I was trying...there's nothing like finishing a race and thinking you definitely could have run faster.
As has become a tradition...I enjoyed my favorite post race snack when I got home...
Now I'm looking forward to a winter of minimal running. In fact right now, I don't ever want to go running again...but I'm sure I'll feel differently in a few days.