Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Breaking the Running Rules #2: Getting Race Ready!

A month or so ago, I was sure I wouldn’t be running this weekend.  I was certain I’d be listed on the eternal list of shame as a DNS (Did Not Start) for the 2014 Walt Disney World Half-Marathon.  I was sad, but accepting of that dismal fact.

But, guess what?  I am running the 2014 WDW Half!  In less than three days.

How in heck did I do it?!  Well, for starters, I rested.  You know, like, not running.  I got ready to run far by not running at all.  Sounds counterintuitive, but folks – it really is the only way to heal most injuries.  I’m happy to say that, while I’m still having some minor issues with my piriformis, my strained hip flexor is, indeed, healed.

That time to heal was crucial for what came next: a pretty fast ramp-up in mileage.  Yep, I’ve been breaking the running rules.  Again.  Most coaches and training plans advocate no more than a 10% increase in mileage per week, and many also promote cut-back weeks of lower mileage every other week…

For real – I did NOT have time for cut-backs and a slow build-up.  I had time for this:

That would be 3 weeks straight of longer distance runs.  I wasn’t at all sure about that final 11-miler and was fully prepared to bail halfway if I felt worn down, figuring the previous week’s 9+ would be okay as my longest pre-race run, but I actually felt really good that day and went for the full 11.  In fact, I felt better that day than I did on the 7+ mile run two weeks prior.  How weird is that?!

Even weirder is that I feel pretty damned good right now.  I’d hazard to say I feel stronger and in better physical shape than I have before any other race.  I’ll wait until after the race to proclaim any kind of statement about my body preferring a short, fast mileage build, but… yeah, I’m leaning that way, for sure.

So now, I try hard not to eat every item in my house and rein in the activity for a few days, even as the adrenaline and excitement builds exponentially by the hour.  I still haven’t decided how to treat this race – as a slow, fun training run, or as a see-what-I-can-do race, or as a little of both – and probably won’t make that determination until race-day morning. 

I wish the best of luck to all who are running the 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon and Marathon races* this weekend – may we all stay safe, swift and sane as we smile our ways through Walt Disney World!

Photo credit:

*You can find more about the WDW Marathon Weekend events at

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