Lessons Learned – 2017 Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training

Every training season comes with new experiences, new triumphs, new trials, and of course – new lessons learned. Last year during my Pittsburgh Half training and race, I learned that I was capable of finishing a race with terrible case of ITBS. More importantly, I learned that I was capable of just about anything.

This year, my lessons learned in training were a bit different.

Lesson #1: Run/Walk/Run Does NOT Make You Less Of A Runner. Do you know that I began half marathon training with Jeff Galloway 13.1, ran Akron, and have YET to beat that time? Yes, I have yet to beat the time from my first half marathon: 2:15:38. Why? Because I became obsessed with “running the whole thing,” and in turn, my time suffered because I tried to run the whole thing faster than I actually COULD run the whole thing.

For my fourth half marathon on May 7, I will use the run/walk/run method again. I am hoping to beat my PR from 2015.

Lesson #2: You can run in clothes other than “running clothes.” Ok, I’m not telling you that I ran in a pair of jeans. However, I was a hot mess through the duration of this training block. I got so busy with directing the Youngstown Marathon that I seriously didn’t have time to change my clothes half of the time. Let it be known that in the beginning of April, I ran in Christmas leggings (running_for_miles_and_miles knows is the only one who knew this to be true until now!).

See? I didn’t even know what the correct date was.

In other words, the beginning runner lays out clothes ahead of time and makes sure they are seasonly appropriate; her socks match and she even knows where all of her hair ties are located. The veteran, hot mess runner puts on Christmas pants that have been on the floor for three days and forgoes the sports bra because laundry hasn’t been done for 11 days.

But…the result is the same! Three miles is three miles regardless of what you are wearing. It took me four half marathons to figure that out.

Lesson 3: Waiting for the perfect time to run is a great way to make yourself anxious and potentially missout on your run. When the weather started to break, I had it in my head that I’d be outside for all of my runs. Ha! Life usually had different plans than that. So, there I was, almost every run, on the treadmill past 8 p.m. Running in the evening is my most hated time to train.

I knew, though, if I kept insisting that I run in mid 50s and sunshine with a light breeze (just enough to cool my non-sweaty face), I would never get out there. I mean, truth be told, we only get about five days of this optimal weather in Northeast Ohio, anyway. While there are benefits to running outdoors that you simply do not get running indoors (such as a more realistic feeling of ten miles on pavement), done is ALWAYS better than perfect. Always! Ten treadmill miles is better than zero outdoor miles.

So, here we are, friends. At the start of a two week taper that will drive me insane. I made, it though! My last long run took place on Saturday, April 22. Less than two weeks stands between me and the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon 13.1 Registration ends Friday at 11:59 p.m. By registering this week, you can still save ten bucks on the full or half using code POULLAS17.

Peace // Love // Running!

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