Half Marathon Training/Phase One: Week One

I’m back at it again! Last week I started my twelve week phase one training for the Augusta University Half Marathon to be held on February 26, 2017. Phase two will begin immediately after the Augusta University event. Phase Two will be my prep for the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon and the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis. The Nashville Half Marathon will be held on April 29th and the Indy 500 Festival Half Marathon is just one week later.

I’ve cut back my miles quite a bit since July the 4th and I really didn’t monitor my weight gain. I’m feeling those extra pounds now that’s for sure. Both speed and endurance are suffering. It’s not like I’m all that fast anyway so it shouldn’t take very long to improve. Once the miles start picking up the pounds should start dropping off as well. Let’s hope so anyway.

Week one started a little differently than my usual training. I spent the week in very chilly Nebraska. My wife and I stayed at her sister and brother-in-law’s farm. It’s located about six miles from any paved roads. When I say it was chilly what I mean is it was chilly for me anyway–especially since I live with mostly mild temperatures during the fall/winter in Georgia. And the hills! Oh my goodness. Most people think Nebraska is flat but let me tell you the eastern portion of the state is no where near flat. When I run my usual six mile route at home I have 180 to 230 feet of elevation to climb along the way. My first run in Nebraska was exactly six miles but the elevation during the course of the run totaled over 700 feet of elevation climb. A few of the hills looked like small ski slopes. The photos just don’t do it justice.

That first day of running the temperature was below 20 degrees with a pretty good wind blowing, especially on the last two miles. With the hills, and cold air I was definately sucking wind at times. I even had to walk some portions. It was nice to have a change of scenery though. Some of you might not think Nebraska is all that pretty but if you look close you will find some beauty.

My second run in Nebraska was much shorter. I only ran about 2.25 miles. It was even colder than the first day and the wind was much stronger. The first mile started with a long, steep hill and things didn’t get much easier. By the time I finished the first mile I was gasping for air. That’s when I decided to turn around and head back. The return back to the farm was much easier than the run out. Had I realized this I would have gone out at least a half to one mile further.

I intended to run on our last day in Nebraska but that morning when I got up the winds were blowing about 20 miles an hour so the temperature with wind chill was 5 degrees. I decided to cancel that one.

It was a short training week but it’s only week one. I’m not quite feeling like I’m back in the groove of things but it’s a start in the right direction. Last year I thought I was crazy for running in one half marathon and now in 2017 I’ll be running in three of them in the first half of the year. This has certainly changed my perspective on my training and right now I don’t feel any urgency to get back to that level. That’s a good thing isn’t it?

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