Houston, TX held its 2019 Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, January 20th. Since this event was in my home state and I’m currently training to run a half marathon, I have to mention the winners of this year half and full marathon. I also want to let you know how my training is going.
Congratulations to Brigid Kosgei of Kenya for smashing the half marathon in the women’s division with a time of 1:05:50. Congratulations to Shura Kiata of Ethiopia for cracking the half marathon in the men’s division with a time of 1:00:11. For the full marathon congratulation to Albert Korir of Kenya for destroying the full marathon and coming in first in the men’s division with a time of 2:10:02, and congratulation to Biruktayit Degefa of Ethiopia for doing the same in the women’s division, crossing the tape first with a time of 2:23:28.
I see these results, and I’m amazed at the endurance and the speed that these humans move and how they make it look so effortless. I know they must have put in a lot of hard work with blood, sweat, and tears. Then I wonder, how did they get started? Did they get coaches from an early age? Did they train in heart rate zone 2, then in heart rate zone 3, the threshold zone, and then at VO2 Max? or did they just run until it felt natural to go far, to go long and then to go hard?
Growing up, I remember competing in track and field from middle school to high school up until I graduated. I ran the 100, 200, 4 x 100, 200 sprint medley and did the high jump. These events were all sprinter events. Cross country and long distance running, to me, were a method of torture. I played basketball and football too, and if we got in trouble, it would be known that we would have to run for miles at a time as punishment.
In the Army, we were always running. The max distance I remember was six miles. These six miles were not on a straight paved road. These six miles could be on any terrain, at any speed, with any gear. When I was stationed in Panama, I was doing HIIT workouts before the word HIIT was coined. I could do 7-minute miles no problem. I was 170lbs and super fit. We use to do 10 to 15-mile road marches in full battle gear with 40 to 50lbs rucks. We would stay in the jungle anywhere from a week to three weeks. We carried our food and water while periodically met up at supply points.
I’m now 47yrs old and training for a longer distance than I have ever run. I know how to prepare for strength, for tactical efficiency and can bike up to 50 to 60 miles but running long distance is new to me.
I have planned to run in heart rate zone 2 for two months, although I can run faster at threshold/tempo. I’m frustrated because I’m a 13-14-minute mile in heart rate zone 2 where I want to be at 9-minute miles. I have always trained to go all out and can hold it for hours willing myself to the finish line. I know that for long distance running and endurance racing going hard will not work. My training plan has not been the issue, doing the work is not the issue, the problem is my patience. I wonder if I will be able to improve from a 13-14-minute to at least a 9.5-minute mile so I can run the half marathon in sub 2 hours.
Below are some of my training results. I have lost 8.3lbs in the four weeks that I have been training. Today I ran the furthest I have ever run, 10 miles.