Friday, February 17, 2017

The Best Laid Plans...

When I look back on the training plan I had set up for A1A, I can't help but be disappointed. It was going to be so perfect. All that bridge work! All those double-digit runs! A 15-miler before race day!
Oh boy. To paraphrase Robert Burns, the best laid plans of mice and men (and runners) often go awry. We were doing so well until November, and it's really been nearly two full months of stiff calves and pure struggle.

I feel guilty about this. If I were training for just myself, I'd adjust and it would be fine. But I feel so responsible for Elizabeth! I want to get her to the finish line and I want us to make it under 2:20. She is a competitive person; as a gymnast, she is used to practicing-as-you-perform hundreds of times before "game day."
Simone Biles didn't achieve perfection by practicing 2/3 of her routine and calling it a day.
That's not how most runners train - we rarely go the full distance of a long race until race day, and usually not at race pace, either.

She has completely put her trust in me and it's been a very difficult mental battle for her to let go of the idea of running the full race distance before race day. I promised her that things would be okay even with an adjusted training plan and only getting to 10 and 11 miles. After all, most half marathon training plans only go that far, anyway!

Still, I feel the burden.

Now, I know we'll make it all 13.1 miles. I honestly don't think I'll need to drop out or anything drastic like that. Mentally, I'm a little worried myself because although I got through that 10-miler two weeks out from race day, that was my last long run before the race, and I've only done eight more miles since then! But I'm trying to ooze confidence so that Elizabeth isn't worried.
I get my best advice from cats in ties.
I know that for A1A in particular, I usually "taper" drastically, so part of me is feeling totally okay about all this. Part of me really wants to run this week, although I know it's for the best that I don't. Another part of me is just annoyed that my perfect plans had to change pretty much immediately out of the gate.

The fact is, we may miss our time goal. I know no matter what, Elizabeth would rather have me avoid real injury than push through for the sake of an arbitrary goal and we'll have a blast together either way. She's still running this week so mentally, she's feeling ready to go and excited.
Oh yes, she is kind of sure it will be fun!
I'm trying to get my brain where hers is.

Anyway, we'll leave Saturday morning for Fort Lauderdale; the race is Sunday! Please send us all your good mojo because I could really use it!

Let me leave you with something fun. Help me pick what skirt to wear! I'll likely wear a Sub-30 tank top and I was going to wear my Lioness in Free Love, but then my new Amethyst/Sidewinder Lioness came in the mail Thursday!
I rarely wear purple but I love this skirt and the Sidewinder print detail. I'm also wearing the new Wonder Girl tank top in these pictures.
Which one should I wear?!

Any advice?
Wish us luck!



  1. If you can run a 10 mile training run at 10min miles you can run sub 2:20!! You guys have this in the bag. Just get out of your own head a little. You are a veteran and the only job on race day you have is to let Elizabeth not worry and have fun! Keep her moving in the right direction mentally at all times!! I have run several first time halves with friends and it really is so much fun just being what they need you to be when they need it. :)

  2. I think you'll be fine. Just hope that she has fun and wants to run one again.

    That's tough - both outfits looks great. I would go with the sidewinder because it's new - a mental boost.

    Good luck. Looking forward to hearing about the race.

  3. I agree with Staci; a 10-minute long run pace is the equivalent of a 2:11 half, which is well below your goal. Factor in the race day adrenaline and you should have no problem holding that pace for three more miles. I think you guys will surprise yourselves. Training rarely goes according to plan for anyone. Successful racing is always about making the most of what you've got.

    I'm glad you want to make sure Elizabeth has a good time! That's so important for a first race, because it makes you want to keep coming back. Maybe you could switch the focus of the day to a non-finish time related goal, such as running a negative split or passing X number of people in the final miles. If you prioritize having a strong race instead of having a fast race, you will enjoy yourself no matter what AND probably still meet your time goal! Good luck, and have a great time!!!

  4. Purple skirt!!! Lots of luck to you and Elizabeth! I know you are going to have a blast. Your 10 miler went so well. What's another half hour of running, especially with race day energy!?

  5. I love your attitude going into this Ali. It's nice to have a goal but always better to have fun, especially if you are running with someone else. There were times that I only ran 10 miles in training and actually thats what I'm struggling with right now, since I'm running out of time and my race is quickly approaching as well.