Thursday, March 21, 2013
Lessons Learned from Shamrock Weekend
Here I am. On the other side of the Shamrock Half Marathon. What did I learn from it?
1. Following a training plan is important. I wrote out a training plan. I decided how I wanted to eat. Sadly, I did neither very well. I followed here and there, but not consistently. I didn't go to the gym as often as I should have. I didn't get my weekday runs in as I should have. I didn't eat as healthy as I should have. The problem was I knew this as I was training. I could have turned things around. I didn't.
2. You won't make your goals if you don't follow the above. For a bit, I became cocky and thought this is my fifth half marathon. Even if I don't follow my training plan, I'm sure I can hit my goal. Yea. Cockiness is not good. I realized the week before the races that I wasn't going to hit my goals (8k sub-60 and 13.1 at 2:50:00) and I had time to let that seep in. I had a week to wrap my head around the disappointment of not meeting those goals. Which in the end was helpful when I didn't meet them and I was standing at the finish line.
3. Finishing can be just as rewarding. Honestly, it is. Even if you don't hit the goals you set for yourself, crossing the line, running 13.1 miles, knowing you can survive...yea...it's important. I say this for every race no matter the distance that I just want to finish. I just want to cross the line. I may be almost 6 years into my running "career," but I am still amazed that I can finish any race. I'm not putting myself down. I am just in awe that the person who couldn't run a mile in high school, who weight 200+ pounds at one point can run...any distance.
4. Running music can help. This is the first race of any distance that I actually put a playlist together for. Normally, I just hit albums, shuffle, and go. This time I downloaded a bunch of stuff with a good beat, put it together, and played it. There were so many times on the course where the music made me smile, laugh, dig deep. Around mile 6 "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" came on. I laughed out loud. I needed that. Between mile 8 and 9 Tim McGraw's "It's Your Love" came on. That's my wedding song and it went on there because of the beautiful memories it has. I almost cried when it came on, but it gave me a bit of peacefulness as I went along. Between miles 10 and 11, Eminem's "Lose Yourself" came on. Yea, I sang out loud. I picked up my pace. It made me realize I needed to move my butt. And finally, I'm running along the boardwalk with the Atlantic Ocean on my left when Gary Allen's "Every Storm" comes on. I love this song, especially because it's tied to raising money for Superstorm Sandy victims in NJ/NY. I'm a Jersey Girl and I crossed the finish line to it. I may have missed my goals, but the music helped get me through those 3:02:09.
Those are just some of the lessons I learned this past weekend. I am working on encorporating them into my Zooma Annapolis training plan so I can finish strong. I want to PR at Zooma. This is a tall order for me as the temperatures at the race will be WAY out of my comfort zone and there are a couple hills. I'm addressing them in my training. I don't want to see my next finishing photos look like this