Monday, February 14, 2011

Mardi Gras Half Marathon and the training that got me there...

So I just got home from New Orleans.  My wife and I woke up early Saturday morning, packed an overnight bag, fed the dog, packed the car and drove 4 hours to the Crescent City.  I have been to New Orleans several times over the years; for business, partying (Mardi Gras on my 18th birthday-thanks Dad and Kenny), a job interview and the 4th of July with my current wife and girlfriend at the time.  All of those times, except the job interview, were very laid back, fun, exciting trips.  My most recent trip was for my first official 1/2 marathon and I had trained pretty regularly with lots of help from my running club and some advice from my physical therapist.

It all started about 3 months ago when I decided to register for the Austin 1/2 and booked my hotel nice and early, took the time off from work and downloaded a training program on the internet.  About 2 weeks into my plan I saw a link for the Mardi Gras 1/2 and thought it would be a great way to prep myself for Austin, so I decided to register for that one as well.  I followed my training plan about as close as anyone I know has ever followed a training plan.  I hit 90% of my days and substituted several of the speed and hill sessions with easier tempo runs, ran longer and faster on my long slow days that I was supposed too but overall I felt good about my training.

The last few weeks of training I knocked out 2 half's on my own on my normal routes and nailed them both right around 2 hours, which was my goal time for my races.  I trained in my Asics, KSOs, my homemade huaraches and barefoot. The last 2 weeks saw the addition of a shiny new pair of Nike Free's added to the mix and I played with the idea of racing in them for New Orleans in the hopes of preserving my feet for Austin...this was not to happen.  I put about 20-25 miles a week into my training and upped it to 30 for the last month, spreading it all pretty evenly at 1/3 of the miles barefoot, shod and in my Vibrams.  I was very happy with the overall outcome, finishing my first ever 1/2 marathon in 1 hour 51 minutes and 29 seconds, my Garmin said I ran 13.18 miles with an average pace of 8:23 ( ).

I did a nice easy 1 mile at a 10:00 this morning just to shake the cobwebs out and hopefully this week will see about 15 miles of maintenance and one hill workout so I can really nail Austin on Sunday...wish me luck I am going to need it!!!  Next post will be covering my Charity organization...Team Red, White and Blue, a wounded veterans organization that raises awareness, money and support for veterans transitioning from the military into the civilian world.

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