Seriously… Again? (Week 7 of 30)

I’m running.

Like… Hard.

You know, and… Fast.

Just flying along, when…

“Hi Sarah!”

I hear my name. I glance to my left. Oh no.

No no no. I should definitely not be passing these guys.

He continues, “How’s it going?”

It’s the fast group from a run clinic I’ve given a talk at a couple of times now. They thought it was hilarious they had a shot of tequila following my nutrition talk and then a 16 mile long run.

I was so shocked I thought it was kinda hilarious too.

“Great! You?”

My voice sounds laboured. And in kilometre 2, this is not a good thing. But it’s another 2km before I decide to pull back. Or maybe that’s just where I lost it.

Well, there you have it. I’ve gone and done it AGAIN. Yes, seriously. I’ve gone out at the pace I’d be doing were I expecting to run a personal best. But this is the First Half half-marathon and I’d signed up for it knowing I would not be in race shape.

I am realizing that I may be completely incapable of running a race for training purposes. I’ve had clients do it – one I recall specifically – he nailed the workout to the letter. It was indeed an actual race but he backed off and ran smart. He trusted the plan was a part of the bigger picture and would lead him to his ultimate goal. It did.

So why is it that I appear so completely incapable of practicing what I preach?

By the time I enter Stanley Park (which, by the way, I don’t even think is one-third of the way into the race) I’m having serious thoughts about pulling out or just slowing down and running easy. Why race if I can’t actually race (read: get PB)? And, geez, this is HARD. Goodness, the thoughts that go through my head. Luckily my legs are much smarter and they just keep pounding the pavement with all they’ve got to give.

Somehow I get all the way around Stanley Park. There’s a certain runner just ahead of me I’ve been keeping my eye on. It looks like he’s struggling too. I know we have similar racing speeds, when all goes well. I try to catch him. But although I keep him in sight the entire race, I never do catch him.

And then it’s around Lost Lagoon. I was just run/walking this very route last Sunday, joking with the Sun Run In-Training clinic I was running with after my talk – joking about how this stretch of trail is psychologically engrained in my brain as hard. Hard, because each year I run the First Half, and each year this Lost Lagoon lap is killer.

As I round the corner, halfway around Lost Lagoon, I see the crew I ran with the week before just hitting the trail. I smile at them and wave but I don’t think they recognize me. Or maybe I’m in such a state that I’m not seeing straight and it’s not them at all.


It’s a guy I haven’t seen out at our training group in some time, he greets me as he glides by.

Damn it. I hate getting passed! But it’s my fault for going out too fast. It’s been going on since kilometre 4 or so. Me getting passed.

I chug along, runners passing me.

Seriously. Next time I swear I’ll be the one doing the passing.

Somehow I get out of Lost Lagoon and make my way back along the Seawall. It’s a gorgeous day, albeit a bit windy. Maybe a lot windy. I can’t really tell when I’m racing hard.

There’s a really steep tough hill coming up. It’s in the last kilometre, I know it, I’m ready for it. There it is… And I make it up. It’s not nearly as dramatic as previous years, but equally as hard. And then I let ‘er rip. As fast as I can. As if I’m trying to make up for lost time. It doesn’t matter though – it’s my slowest kilometre of the entire race.

I stumble across the finish line and smile.

Well I thought I smiled, but hubby says I just did my dying look again. Obviously I’m just not getting anything right this race.

It’s a funny thing. I’d like to say I fully enjoyed myself out there – but that would be a lie. I’m far too competitive for that. So incredibly hard on myself. And I think I’ve finally realized that as much as I enjoy racing, I should not put myself through the racing experience knowing I will fall so far short of a PB.

Even in the best of times, even when serious pace training has been put in, it may not culminate into the perfect race and a PB. But at least there’s a good chance it will.

In this case, there was zero chance. All I’ve done is mileage. No progression workouts, no pace workouts.

Which puts this all into perspective. I’m on target. I’m following the plan. This was but a training run.

Only next time I know better than to strap a bib on myself for a training run. 😉

first half comp

Training — Planned Weekly Mileage:

  1. Dec 30 to Jan 5 – 50km (actual – 57km)
  2. Jan 6 to 12 – 60km (actual – 63km)
  3. Jan 13 to 19 – 60km (actual – 63km)
  4. Jan 20 to 26 – 75km (actual – 77km)
  5. Jan 27 to Feb 2 – 105km (actual – 108km)
  6. Feb 3 to 9 – 90km (actual – 90km)
  7. Feb 10 to 16 – 75km (actual – 75km)
  8. Feb 17 to 24 – 105km
  9. Feb 25 to Mar 2 – 135km
  10. Mar 3 to 9 – 120km
  11. Mar 10 to 16 – 135km
  12. Mar 17 to 23 – 150km
  13. Mar 24 to 30 – 120km
  14. Mar 31 to Apr 6 – 120km
  15. Apr 7 to 13 – 105km
  16. Apr 14 to 20 – 135km
  17. Apr 21 to 27 – 135km
  18. Apr 28 to May 4 – 105km
  19. May 5 to 11 – 150km
  20. May 12 to 18 – 135km
  21. May 19 to 25 – 120km
  22. May 26 to June 1 – 150km
  23. June 2 to 8 – 135km
  24. June 9 to 15 – 105km
  25. June 16 to 22 – 150km
  26. June 23 to 29 – 120km
  27. June 30 to July 6 – 105km
  28. July 7 to 13 – 105km
  29. July 14 to 20 – 90km
  30. July 21 to 27 – final taper week

3 thoughts on “Seriously… Again? (Week 7 of 30)

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