The 1:50 half marathon vortex

So my first half marathon was in 2011. I was slotted to run my first half in 2008, but a brutal bout with ITBS and no benefits sidelined me for about a year. At the point of injury I was a 21:00min 5km runner, which I had worked hard to achieve. When I came back from injury my increase in km’s was slow and wrought with pain. Everytime I increased my mileage my IT band shouted back at me angrily. Needless to say it took me 2 years to regain the distance. When I completed the Chilly Half Marathon in March 2011 my goal was 2 hours. My bestest dude and I crossed the finish line in 1:53 bang on. I was excited that I had come in under 2 hours! And then I entered the vortex, the 1:53 half marathon vortex. These are the 7 half marathons I have completed and their times:

Chilly Half 1:53:00, Oakville Half 1:55:10 (I had to run into a church because of gastro issues), Waterloo Half 1:52:51, ENDURrun Half 1:54:16, Marden half 1:53:11, Waterloo Half 1:55:56 (run approx 2 weeks after the last one), and ENDURrun half 1:51:58

I have slipped into this zone where nothing seems to break that 1:50 zone. Last year I was esctatic that I managed to run 1:51 (barely), and had high hopes for this year. My spring half was kiboshed because I dislocated a toe. Yup, who knew you could dislocate a toe?!?! I have slotted 3 more half marathons in this year. ENDURrun (AUG), Harvest Half (SEPT), and Hamilton Half (NOV). My hopes may be high, but I would like to run a 1:45 by Hamilton. EEEEEKS did I just type that outloud?!?!? Right now that task seems near impossible considering I can’t seem to even bring my time down by 1 minute let alone 6. My long runs are reflecting about a 30 sec/km faster pace this year, so maybe it’s possible?

I know that it means I have to change my training plan but I am not sure how. One can get lost in the world of fartleks, intervals and hill runs. Up until this point all I have ever done is “just run”, and generally I do it alone (or with bestest dude). I don’t consider myself a competitive person except with myself, and that I am seriously questioning. The problem is that I have become “comfortable” in my pace, and rarely push myself on training runs. Even bestest dude has commented on the fact that I always run at the same pace. So then technically I’m not very competitive with myself am I? How does one push oneself to the next level. I contemplated joining a local running group, an idea that is slightly terrifying to an introvert like me. I am generally much more gregarious and social once I know people but really I am not a fan of big groups, or feeling on the spot. If I could be guaranteed to just absorb into the crowd, I would be sold. Then again I come back to the idea of “pushing out of my confort zone”. It appears that either way it needs to happen for me to reach my goal. Whether it means developing a plan in independently or looking to join others. At this point I’m not quite sure what to do. One of my favourite quotes in my job is  “If nothing changes, nothing changes”.

For this week I’m going to run #waterloo10kclassic and see how it goes. Then Sunday night after bestest dude gets dropped off at the airport, and I am sitting in my chair downstairs enjoying a well deserved glass of wine (currently its a two week detox), I will make a decision. Whatever that decision is, it will push me out of my two year comfort zone, and hopefully the 1:50 vortex.

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Posted on June 13, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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