Thursday, October 28, 2010

#3 - Continued Reflections from My Half Marathon

i) I don't drink enough water.

I read that runners should concentrate on drinking more water the week before an endurance race and to abstain from alcohol. This makes good sense to me. I do try to drink more water than anything else. When we eat out, I order water, and I have a glass in the kitchen that is always at varying levels of fullness. I do not drink soda pop (liquid candy) at all; however, I do drink coffee, and I know that it is dehydrating, and that I need to drink an additional glass of water for every cup of coffee to make up for it.

However, for future half marathons, I think I will make it my mission the previous week to ensure that I drink water a lot more. I recognize that this is a great habit anyway so rather than waiting for the next race as a justification for doing this, I want to start focusing on it this week (I just finished the glass I had in front of me and went to refill my glass in the kitchen before continuing to type!).

And I have to admit that I enjoyed multiple glasses of red wine during the week before the race ... not all in one evening, but one bottle's worth over the course of a few evenings. I just think that from now on, if a particular race is of significant importance to me (one in which I am setting a goal rather than doing for fun), I should "prove" it to myself by making a greater effort to abstain from dehydrating alcohol until after the event. I will drink wine after to celebrate! :)

ii) I should probably not run hard in a race the week before an endurance race. :)

I have also read about the so-called "rule" - a runner should not run another race for awhile after completing one. The rule states a day off for every K ran. This means a 10K race is okay every two weeks, and a half marathon is okay every 21 days. I ran a hard, hilly 10K in a great time (for me) the week before the half marathon. I knew already then that I should not be running that 10K "hard" and to treat it as an average, training 10K run, but I did not expect the Pinery run to be so hilly, and I am the type of person who is motivated by the adrenaline of being in a race with others.

The fact is, being in both the Pinery Provincial Park 10K Run and the NFIM half marathon was more important to me than not running the 10K in order to "save myself" for the HM. I do not regret the decision I made at all. I am just thinking out loud on my blog that, in the future, if I am going to set a certain PR goal for myself, perhaps I may choose differently ...

I was just reading an interesting discussion between runners on Dailymile under one woman's profile. She was asking her friends if she should participate in a 10K run this weekend (the same 10K I am in this weekend, which is how I found the discussion). She is running her first marathon the following weekend in Hamilton. Most of her friends said "no", don't do it, whereas others told her that if she could run the 10K easy, without getting competitive and running her best, then it was okay. A few other runners quoted the rule I referred to above whereas another runner said, forget the rule! How do you feel? In conclusion, she has decided not to run in the 10K this weekend. This runner has decided that she cannot run the 10K without becoming competitive and running as hard as she can. For me, this discussion was thought provoking, especially given my recent schedule of Sundays - 10K race; 20 K long training run; 10K race; half marathon; 10K race.

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