When I last posted about how training was going for the 2024 My Better Half Marathon, I was feeling pretty down. Still, I've been plugging away, so all things considered, I'm pretty happy with the progress I've made.
In December, I hit 50 miles for the first time in ages. I knew I hadn't run at all in early 2023 and struggled in the late summer, but seeing my mileage contrasted so sharply month-to-month highlighted for me why this training cycle has been so hard.
|I haven't seen mileage this low since I first started running; even in the depths of CECS recovery, I think my mileage was higher!
I'm still getting shin splints, which is so bizarre because in all my years of running and with all the injuries I've had, shin splints have never been an issue. I was flummoxed, but I finally remembered that Google exists. After some basic research, I've confirmed that ramping up my mileage while eschewing strength training has been my downfall.
So in the last four weeks of training, I will be adding some basic strength back into my regimen – I don't want to go overboard, but I'm hoping I can at least make some strides so that by race day, my shins aren't bothersome.
|That's not a peace sign, it's two 1's for 11!
Despite this setback, I still managed an 11-mile long run a week ago. I did the first five solo, then met up with Sarah for the last six. It hailed on us twice and rained pretty much the entire time it didn't hail. There was a lot of walking because I had chosen a route with lots of rolling hills. All told, it was rough, but I knew it would be.
|I do so love running this time of year.
Sarah had decided to switch to the 10k from the half, so I am in this by myself for the last few weeks of training. We're in the middle of an extreme cold weather snap (17°F today), and I think I have to draw the line at running in below-freezing temps. Matt has also gifted me with a little cold, so while I intended to use this week as a cutdown, it's going to be a more extreme cutdown than originally planned.
That's okay. I'll focus on strength, get some miles in when it warms up early next week, and do a second 11-miler before the end of the month. I've got time, and I've finally learned that my body thrives on rest during long distance training. A few extra rest days aren't going to make or break me here.
I'm still not feeling incredibly confident about how this half will go; a lot depends on how my shins feel. But I am at the point where I'm sure I'll be able to finish it in a respectable time, even if it's not close to a PR, and that's quite the improvement in mindset from this time last month!