I recently ran my second half marathon. I ran the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon 2 weeks ago. When I ran my first half marathon last year, I shared how I trained. I thought I'd share how I trained again since I trained with an injury this year.
Similar to last year, we started training early. We used the Boulevard Bolt as our starting point.
This is the Boulevard Bolt. It's a local, 5 mile race that takes place on Thanksgiving morning. A perfect race to kick off training season.
Week 2 - 11/25 - 5 miles
We got back together the Sunday after Thanksgiving to keep our momentum going. We ran the East Nasty Walking Bridge 4.41 mile route, so not quite 5 miles.
Week 3 - 12/2 - 5 miles
Making sure we're comfortable with 5 miles before we add on, we met & ran Belle Meade Blvd.
Week 4 - 12/9 - 6 miles
We met at Bongo Java on Belmont & ran a hilly 6 miles around Music Row, Vandy & Belmont.
Week 5 - 12/16 - 6 miles
We met at Shelby Bottoms & ran a flat, 6 miles on the greenway.
Week 6 -12/22 - 6.5 miles
This was the 26.4.26 race that we all did. We ran 6.5 flat miles.
Week 7 - 12/30 - 7 miles
We met at Jaime's in Sylvan Park & ran 7, hilly miles in/around Harding/Belle Meade.
We met at Fido & ran downtown to 1st Ave & back up Demonbreun to Hillsboro Village. Mucho hilly.
Week 9 - 1/19 - 9 miles
We met at the Maryland Farms Y & ran 9, long, scenic miles around Brentwood/Maryland Farms.
Week 10 - 1/27 - 10 miles
This is the run where I got injured. We ran Bongo to Bongo. My knee gave out at the half way point. Because I was 5 miles from where I started, I had to keep going. So I basically limp-ran from Bongo East to Bongo West. Not fun.
I went into physical therapy. I had 2 appointments a week, plus 15 minutes, twice a day of glute strengthening exercises at home. Also, Brittany, my physical therapist taped my knee & told me to take the week off from everything - running & Hell Class. *tear
Week 11 - 2/3 - 11 miles
At this point, I'm in physical therapy & restricted to flat runs, which is fine because the race we're training for is flat. We met at Shelby Bottoms & basically ran the Tom King route. My knee was taped, but I ran it pain-free.
Still going to physical therapy twice a week, plus all the glute exercises. My knee is still taped. Brittany lets me go back to Hell Class, but no lunges or jumping, which is half the class, so, yeah. I also start taking yoga again.
Week 12 - 2/10 - 75 minute run
Still in physical therapy, still taped, we ran another flat route on the greenway at Shelby Bottoms.
I'm discharged from physical therapy! Hooray! My knee is healed & I'm cleared to resume normal activity, though I'm advised to still take it easy on the lunges. Brittany offers to tape me for the race if it'll give me peace of mind, though she says I don't need it. Also, I'm in yoga twice a week.
Week 13 - 2/17 - 60 minute run
We run one last flat, boring run on the Shelby greenway. Still doing Hell Class twice a week & yoga twice a week. Feeling good. Feeling strong. Still no knee problems.
Week 14 - 2/24 - Race Day
I ultimately decided to run the race without getting my knee taped. I didn't need it. In hindsight, I did a couple of things wrong in New Orleans. We walked wayyyyyy too much the day before & we ate like idiots the night before the race. DUMB. But c'est la vie.
The course was super flat, which was good for my knee. We started a little slower than we probably had to & stayed slow for the first 5 miles. Around that time, we hit the one hour mark & I popped some energy chews. Once those kicked in, I sped up & tried to keep us at a faster pace, but I'm not a great pacer. Every time I ate more energy chews, I would speed up to what felt natural, but then I'd inevitable slow back down.
It's funny, I ran my first half marathon last year 10 minutes faster than this year, but the race last year was really hard. Last year, I struggled from Mile 10 to the finish. But this year, I felt great the entire race. I had a lot of energy, my legs were good, my knee was good. My feet hurt from the heinous roads, but nothing too bad.
Because I ran with 40 other East Nasties, most of which PR-ed, I was a little embarrassed about my time, until I talked to Cheyenne. Cheyenne asked me how my race was & I said, "I didn't PR". He said that he didn't ask me if I PR-ed, he asked me how my race was. Did I feel strong, etc. I told him that this was my best race & that I felt really strong, especially in comparison to last year. Cheyenne emphatically nodded & then I got it. A good race isn't always dictated by time. Thank you, Cheyenne.
I'm running another half marathon in a few weeks. I'm running the Oak Barrel Half in Lynchburg. We're just running this for fun. No one PRs at this race as it's entirely uphill. You'd think I'd be done after that. You'd be wrong. After Oak Barrel, I switch gears & start training for my second triathlon, which is on May 18th. Then I'm done. I think....