Friday, May 3, 2024

Final training report: Vancouver Half


Race week is upon us!

When we signed up for the Vancouver Half, I had about nine weeks to train, and it felt like a short time even though I'd been sort-of training for a half since autumn of last year. Still, training didn't seem to click and feel real until March...really mid-March, if I'm being honest.
By late March, I'd had enough of my painful calves and shins. We have a fitness center at work where you can book a massage, so on a whim (and totally desperate for a solution), I booked a 25-minute express massage for my lower legs. My massage was April 2nd, and five days later I had my first pain-free long run in months. Pain-free, for 10 whole miles!
10 miles, 0 pain!
I booked myself a full-body massage the following week, and I've been feeling great since. I know this is a stark reminder that I'm not 25 anymore and I can't just put my body through the wringer and bounce back without recovery, but committing to recovery is so annoying. I guess I won't mind getting monthly massages, though, which is definitely my post-race plan.

Once the pain in my legs was taken care of, I felt pretty unstoppable. I checked each April run off my calendar with ease, rearranging a few when weather was bad or when I felt I needed an extra rest day. I had forgotten how nice it was to actually enjoy runs and not feel like every step sucked.
My last 10-miler was awful, but April in general was great!
I ran 54 miles in March and 53 in April. I have finally learned from past training cycles and remembered that the longer I run on weekends, the more my body thrives on weekday rest. I adjusted my weekday runs accordingly as I increased my weekend distances. This seemed to pay off; even though my last 10-miler was terrible, it wasn't because my legs were tired. (It was because I couldn't find a bathroom on the route and had to go literally the entire time. Plus, I chafed. Badly.)

I just kept reminding myself that the purpose of a long run is 1) time on your feet 2) to test what works and what doesn't.
Views from the last 10 miler.
My last long run was 8 miles and felt pretty good. I know my training has paid off this cycle because while 8 miles is nothing to sniff at, it didn't feel like a big ordeal. I just got out and got it done. When a distance you once found daunting suddenly feels a little less mentally taxing, that's how you know you've made strides!
The last 8.
I haven't been tracking my paces at all, and I don't have a real goal for race day. I'll be happy with a time around 2:20. And no matter what, this will be my first international race!

Now, with the race coming this Sunday, I'm starting to plan logistics. This means obsessively checking the forecasted weather, making lists of things to pack, and slowly spiraling out of control as the Taper Crazies set in. Wish me luck!


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