So today I had a 15-miler on my schedule as part of my full marathon training plan. I’ve never done more than 13.1 so this was going to be a first for me and really my first big test during my training program. When I got up this morning, the weather was amazing-52 degrees with 82% humidity which for Southeast Florida is actually a bit chilly but felt refreshing. It was a little windy with sustained 10-15 mph winds and gusts of 20-25 out where I am. I wasn’t sure how to dress so I donned my running skirt, a tank top and a long-sleeved 3/4 zip wicking top. I probably could have gone without the tank top underneath but I didn’t know how quickly it would warm up so wanted something light in case I wanted to take off the other piece. By the time I was done it was 65 degrees and I just had my sleeves pushed up and I was fine.
I walked for the first mile to get myself warmed up, then started with 4/1 walk/run intervals. Everything felt great through the first 7.5 miles...at that point I was feeling a little tired of the running so switched to just walking. Got through mile 9 when I noticed I had started slowing down by almost a whole minute per mile. Up until then I was doing 16-16.5 minute miles which yes, is slightly slower than Disney standards but still much better than I have been doing (mid to upper 17s when I first started my training plan back in August). Once I hit 10 miles I had dramatically slowed to 18 minute miles and my hamstrings started feeling sore. By the time mile 11 came, I was feeling so tired and my feet REALLY hurt. Mile 12 was over 19 minutes, 13 over 20 and 14 over 21...and the last 1/2 mile was at 22. Really. When I got to my house, I could barely walk up the stairs.
Immediately after while I was sitting logging my workout, I began thinking that there is no way in this world that I’ll be ready for a full in January. If my feet hurt that bad after 14.5 miles, I’ll be in a wheelchair for a week after 26.2. I started contemplating dropping from the full to the half. So I posted my workout on DailyMile (which feeds to my Facebook and Twitter) and got some feedback from my running friends. One suggestion is to have a drop-back week every other week. The plan I am currently following is from Marathoning for Mortals which I used to train for my first half marathon and worked wonderfully for it...so I was hoping to follow it for my full training. Another suggestion is to change my intervals to 30 seconds running, 90-120 seconds walking to see if only 30 seconds at a time would be easier on me, then work back up to the 1 minute running intervals. I like both of these suggestions but am just a bit frustrated--I mean, when I trained for my first half marathon (Disney January 2010), I was at a 3/2 walk/run with no problems...and I used the 3/2 for my 2nd and 3rd half marathons in February and March too.
Then came this past summer. After my 3rd half marathon (and another 10K at the end of March, I started backing off the walking and running as I felt burned out and really needed a break...which I may have taken too far over the summer with hardly any walking/running at all (the 90+ degree temps from April thru late September didn’t help any). Basically when I really got down to it again in August I was almost starting from scratch. But still, I seem to be worse off than when I first started adding running intervals to my walking 2 years ago. It’s just very frustrating.
I think I’ve decided to hold off on switching from the full to the half, I do have a little bit of time to think as the half is 88% full. I’ll see how it goes trying out my friends’ suggestions these next couple of weeks, and if anyone else has suggestions for me, please let me know. I really, really do want to do the full, but don’t want to be swept or DNF due to pain or whatnot. As long as I finish within the 7 hour time limit, I’ll be ecstatic. I just want to be able to say YES I have completed a full marathon...I just hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew by doing it now instead of a year or two from now. So I’ll change my long mile days and try the shorter intervals for a bit and see how it goes. Wish me luck and pain-free miles :-)