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November 6, 2005

Lessons Learned

Today was the Big Sur Half-Marathon on Monterey Bay. I certainly wasn't expecting greatness after a summer of ultramarathon training. A few of the lessons I learned...

Training for several months on steep trails averaging 12-15 minutes per mile apparently doesn't prepare you well for running sub-7 minute miles on the road.

Running for several hours below 75% max HR has no residual benefit when your heart rate hits 90% max during mile 2 of a road race.

When you're accustomed to taking walking breaks every 15-20 minutes, an hour and a half seems like an awfully long time to run without stopping.

Just because you used to be fast doesn't mean you're always fast.

Road racing hurts a lot more than long distance trail running. Or, maybe it's the same total amount of pain, just intensified to compress into a smaller time frame.

It's frustrating running a race several minutes slower than in previous years, but sometimes your finishing time isn't the most important thing about a race.

And finally...

I really enjoy long distance road racing. Today's race reminded me of what great rewards can be achieved at these events, and inspired me to train hard this winter to make my body more accustomed to the demands of racing.

So for now, it's back to a gradual mileage buildup over the next 3 months, and then hit the marathon circuit with a vengeance in the spring.

I can run fast again. I just have to earn it.


Downhillnut 11/7/05, 5:55 AM  

You might not have expected greatness, but it looks like you learned some valuable things anyway. It's so easy for us to focus on the race time as the ultimate measure of progress or success, but thanks for sharing this perspective.

I'm looking forward to following your training this winter!

Scott Dunlap 11/8/05, 6:44 PM  

I hear you, brotha. Once you drop the speed training, it's like you never did it!

But it comes back fast with a few sessions, and with a good base, you can get more out of those sessions. ;-)


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