Woodlands Half Marathon Prep Weeks 7-10

At the end of Week 6, i was hobbling on the way back to the car. I was unable to walk without wincing. The pain subsided a lot as the day progressed. A preliminary diagnosis revealed that it was a minor case of Shin splints. The primary cause of this injury seemed to be worn out shoes. The Nike has been around for a couple of years now and i have logged more than 250 miles on it. I have made the mistake of using the running shoes for every day use because they are extremely comfortable. Running shoes have a “life” of about 300 miles. So all the walking and running did put a heavy work load on the Nike Pegasus 32 and hastened its demise. I spent a couple of days researching the various shoes and i zeroed in a couple of brands. The Brooks Ghost 10 and the ASICS (Boy! do they have a lot of models) seem to be the leading choice for most serious runners. My hunt for the shoes took me to various stores across the town. The online market has really wiped out the shoe stores (Luke’s Locker is closed!). Most stores i went in did not have the correct size or they would not have the color i wanted. As soon as tried on the Ghost i knew this was the shoe i wanted. Man! the comfort level of the shoe is something that i cannot describe. The Nike has the feel of wooden sandals when compared to the newer models.

Week 7 The first couple of runs with the new shoe was on the treadmill, i was able to do a 3 mile run and another 6 mile run without any problems. The pace was steady at about 11:37. I had to wait for a week before i could try the Shoe on the roads of Houston. I also understood the concept of stride slowly, the importance of running along a straight line is slowly sinking in. The runs on the treadmill are only tracked on the Garmin Connect and the Nike Website. Runkeeper seems to have issues in tracking the Treadmill runs.

Week 8 I did two runs of about 3 miles each and a single long run for 8 miles. This is the longest i have ever run. The 8 miler was along the bayou and the trail was so muddy that my shoes had about an inch of mud on it afterwards. Victor was laughing at me crying about my new shoes. But i am particular about things like that. The average pace has been around 12:30 minutes. The cadence has really improved to average consistently around 162 strikes per minute.

Week 9 I had such a busy week at work that i did not get any runs on the weekdays at all. I decided to bite the bullet and run 9 miles on the weekend. The plan was to lap the memorial park thrice. I now know that i can run 10 Kilometers without difficulty. The pace will not obviously be great but i reason i can do it in about 70 minutes. The strategy is to cover the remaining distance in intervals of 4:1 (Run 4 minutes and walk a minute). I tried this method for the 9 miler and turns out this approach makes me faster than if ran without stopping. I think i have to just swallow my ego and do this. The approach also does help with the recovery by a huge margin. I do have to give it to my buddy Victor the guy does not even stop! He has about 50 Kg’s on me. Respect!

Week 10: Just one more week before the race. It has been busy again and i am not getting enough time to put the runs during the week days. The wife and i ran on Friday morning, While she can run faster for short periods of time. She wants to slow down for the 5 K runs. I kept her company and we did 2.7 miles at a leisurely 13:01 pace. I will want to do one more of this distance and run another 10 miler before i wind up preparations for next week.

Stay Foolish.

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