Tucson Half Marathon Training- Week 1


Sunday September 23, 2018

Over the course of 12 weeks, I will be providing some insight and updates on my training as I work towards the Tucson Half Marathon at the end of the year. Take a journey with me and see how I train. Witness the good and not so good days, but hopefully more good 🙂

Tuesday– Track day.. 1 mile / 2 x 800 / 1 x 400 which turned out to be 2 x 400

This morning I made my way to Mountain Pointe H.S. track where we do all of our track workouts. After my warmup run and some drills, I took off for my mile which I was aiming for 7:45. I was a little behind the target after 1/2 mile and knew I had to pick it up a little the last 2 laps.

I was feeling a little sluggish and on the last lap, I made a strong surge and hit the mile in 7:46 which is only 1 sec off my target. After recovery my next workout involved 2 x 800 and the goal was 3:30. This is where I struggled. Knowing I needed to hit 1:45 on the 400’s I was down early on the first 400 with a 1:53 and could not get it back. I hit 3:40 for the first set, a whole 10 seconds off pace.

The second 800 was slightly faster at 3:38 but I just did not have it today. I felt a little discomfort in the left side of my chest and I was a little concerned about my heart as I have been getting some tests done. Knowing I only had a 400 to close out, I did a quick recovery and wanted to run this close to top speed. I got out to a quick jump and clocked the 200 around 0:43 which was on pace for 1:26. On the last 100 with the straightaway, I ran as quick as I could feeling every ounce of my body fatiguing. The result, 1:24! I was happy with that.

My day at the track was done but as I was doing a short recovery and Carrie was finishing up her workout, I decided to run with her as she had one more 400 to do. This one was quicker with a 1:23 while Carrie got 1:27!

Afterwards, I was feeling very sluggish and my chest on the left side was feeling a bit in discomfort, not very painful but a little overworked? I was a bit light-headed and did a very easy cooldown as we made our way home.

It was a good morning at the track, I would not say excellent since my 800’s were a bit of a bust but a productive one and a good start to training!

Wednesday- recovery run

The morning run started out on a very humid and sticky day. We are supposed to get rain today and the skies feel like the moisture is there. It didn’t take me long to break into a big sweat. I have been looking at my watch and the HR and wanted to keep it close to 130 bpm regardless of pace. I felt pretty comfortable. Most of all, I didn’t get that pain in my left chest area like I did yesterday which was not fun for most of the day.

Thursday- easy run and Birthday run with Carrie!

Today Carrie celebrates her 40th Birthday, it’s a day she’s been looking forward to for quite some time. For those of you not familiar with what runners identify with when speaking of Masters, here’s what it’s about. When a runner turns 40, he or she is considered to be in the Masters division, a separate category of runners.

Some races have special classifications for Masters and if you’re one of the faster runners, you may win extra money simply for placing in the top of your respective Masters male or female ranks!

So this morning I ran with her for a little as she was running to meet with her friend Kara for their own run. My run this morning was an easy 4 miler but in 92% humidity. Even though the temperature was 73, it definitely felt muggy. I closed with a few strides and had a good run!

Saturday- easy run

Normally my long run day, due to a race tomorrow I’m doing a short easy run as a shakeout run in prep for my 10K race. It was a non-eventful day as I prepare for my race tomorrow.

Sunday- 10K Global Energy race

This was a good and challenging race that had hills, heat, and tons of free food! I set my sights on a good race. My goal I was shooting for was an 8:20 pace which would have landed me near 51:46. I ended up with a time of 52:48 an 8:30 pace. Overall, I was a little disappointed in the fact that I could not seem to get out of the 8:30 pace I was running for the middle part of the race.

The course had some good challenging hills but nothing I would call dramatic or too daunting. Part of me feels a sense of complacency or being comfortable with the pace. 10K’s are a distance I have traditionally shyed away from but it was not always like that. Back in the 90’s there were plenty of 10Ks’ and I used to run them. Until this year, I haven’t done them much if at all.

But it’s a great mix for gauging progress for a Half Marathon race which is my ideal distance race. I was also using this a barometer since I just started my training for the Tucson Half Marathon in December. The race was the end of week 1 in training and it’s also the start of my fitness for training.

In that sense, it was good to get out there and work for the race. It took me a mile or two to really get into a groove and then decide where I could settle in for the remainder of the race. On the last mile which was downhill, I wanted to go sub 8 mins on the last 1.5 miles where it was mainly downhill but I could only get close to 8 mins. It wasn’t until the last .10 where I pushed low 7 mins.

I was gassed at the end but ran a fairly consistent race in terms of pace. More importantly, I know what I need to work on but allow the fitness to come with my training. A good day of racing overall.


Week 1 Perspective

The first week is now in the books and looking back, not much feels different from my summer running. It’s only the first week but I know I can improve on my speed and getting in good consistent long runs for mileage.

It is unusual for me to have a race on the first week of training, but I got in for free and used it for a good training run as well. The temperature is still above seasonal norms which made it tougher on race day but I know I’m better off for running all summer in worse conditions.

I need to be good on my nutrition and make some changes and continue with my good strength training and recovery which has been going well with the complement of stretching and rolling.

Looking ahead, another race this coming weekend with a trip to Crested Buttes, Colorado to run Emma Coburn’s Elk Run 5K. Emmas is our favorite women’s Steeplechase Olympian who is from Crested Butte and this is her 2nd year of putting together this race. It’s also part of Carrie’s birthday to celebrate her 40th Birthday which makes her now a Masters runner!

1 down and 11 weeks to go!









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