Review of Half Marathon, Level II Plan from 80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald

Obviously there’s a whole book you can read to understand 80/20 running and how and why it works.  The book is an interesting read and I highly recommend it.  But the basic philosophy behind it is that you should run 80% of your miles truly easy and 20% of your miles should be focused, higher intensity work.  This is what most of the pros do, apparently, and Fitzgerald provides a lot of evidence that this approach works well for just about everybody.

At the end of the book, Fitzgerald provides Level I, II and III training plans for various distances.  As you would expect, these plans generally line up with beginner, intermediate and advanced runners.  Because I had run five prior half marathons and was working on getting faster, I decided to try the Level II plan.

The plan included base building, peak and taper phases.  The base building phase was a lot of long, slow miles, with some hill repeats and a few short speed intervals thrown in.  The peak phase included tempo runs and workouts with short, fast intervals.  Taper was taper, although it didn’t scale things back as much as other plans I have seen.  For example, the plan called for a 10-mile run the weekend before the race.

One of many new-to-me things about this plan is that it emphasized time running as opposed to miles.  The long runs were all written in terms of miles, but all of the other runs just told you the time and intensity at which to run.  I’m not sure that made a big difference in the end.  When I run with my group, we always decide in advance how many miles we’re running and then do the “route of the day” for that many miles.  I just tried to pick the distance that was most likely to line up with my pace and do that.  So if I had an easy 45 minutes on the schedule, I would pick a 4 mile route.  If I didn’t finish the amount of time I needed by the time I got back, I would run circles around the parking lot until I did.

The interval workouts were my favorite parts of the plan.  It included several types.  Tuesdays during the peak phase of the plan involved a tempo-paced run, so I would run a warm up, then a certain number of minutes at tempo (mine ranged from 24-32 minutes), then a cool down.  Fridays were for more varied speed work, with shorter efforts in Zones 3 (tempo pace), 4 (1-3 mile race pace-ish) and 5 (sprinting).  I think those runs were my favorite, because they broke up the workout a lot and I loved uploading my workout and seeing interval paces that I had never seen before.  The peak phase also included long runs with short speed intervals worked in.  Some of those long runs were “fast finish” runs, where you ran the last 1-1.5 miles at tempo speed.  Others were “speed play” runs where you run roughly 0.25 of every mile at tempo, and the rest of the mile at an easy pace.

One of the benefits of the plan is that it gave me a much better sense of pacing.  I stopped relying on my watch so much (except for the HR alerts) and relied more on effort and feel.  I had to think about what Zones 1-5 really meant for me.

It forced me to sustain harder efforts for specific amounts of time.  In prior training cycles, I only ran faster if I was feeling particularly good or if I was trying to keep up with a faster group.  There was nothing deliberate about it.  This plan gave me specific times to run specific hard efforts that helped build my fitness and helped give me more confidence that I could pick up the pace.

I ran more miles overall.  I started the plan in December 2016, and ran 112.5 miles that month.  In January I ran 107.4 miles (despite a big snowstorm) and in February I ran 113.1 miles.  March was 116.8 miles, even with the taper.  The last time I trained for a half, I only had one month of more than 100 miles.  I was able to pull off this many miles only because I was running most of my miles easy.

Fitzgerald says that by following this plan, your running form becomes more efficient.  I have seen this claim criticized in other reviews of the book.  But I think there might be something to it.  One thing I noticed is that my cadence has increased, even on my easy runs.  I’m now a lot closer to that “ideal” cadence of 180.  I wasn’t trying to increase my cadence, I wasn’t even thinking about it.  But somehow it happened.

For long runs, the plan included several 10 and 12 milers and one 14 miler, which was a confidence builder for me.  When I trained for the marathon last fall, I really worried about how I would get through those last 6.2 miles since I had never run that far.  And I really struggled with that last 6.2 miles, as much mentally as physically.  I know it’s not practical to train the full distance for a marathon, but I felt much more confident going into my half knowing that I had run more than the complete distance once and almost the complete distance several times.

My biggest criticism of the plan is that it wasn’t very user friendly.  For example, when you look at the plan, it might say “Foundation Run 5” on it.  I would then have to flip to a different section of the book to figure out what the heck a Foundation Run 5 is.  I got to know the types of runs over time, but the numbers that were assigned to each type weren’t intuitive at all.  This would have been a bit easier if I had bought the hard copy of the book instead of the kindle version.  And I suppose I could have front-loaded the work and typed all the details into my own version of the plan.  But I didn’t do that, and looking everything up was often annoying.

The other negative aspect of the plan, at least for me, was that it detracted a little from the social aspect of running.  The zones and paces I was supposed to run for any given day were very personal to me and my fitness and how I was feeling on that particular day.  Often that did not line up with what my running friends were doing.  Sometimes I would get dropped by the group because my HR alert was telling me I had to slow down.  Sometimes people didn’t want to run with me because I was doing those weird intervals again.  A lot of friends even took to questioning what was on my plan before they would agree to run with me.  Although this saddened me at times, I accepted it as a necessary evil.  I also learned through this process that it is important to do what my body and my training dictate, and not just follow others’ lead all the time.

I was thrilled with the results of the plan.  I PRed my half marathon by almost 8 minutes.  But even more important than that, I enjoyed my running a lot more.  I don’t think I had ever felt as motivated to work hard and improve.  After this great experience, I plan to use one of Fitzgerald’s plans while training for the Marine Corps Marathon this fall.

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Training log, week of April 3, 2017

Training log, Week of April 3, 2017

Monday: Mini strength training routine at home. Lots of foam rolling.

Tuesday: Easy 4 miles, Average pace 11:02, Average HR 137. Ran with a group but got dropped earlier on because my body and my HR monitor were telling me I needed to run on the easier side of my easy pace range.

Wednesday: Easy 5 miles. Average pace 10:22, average HR 143. Probably a tad fast for a true easy run but didn’t fret too much about it since I wasn’t doing any speed work that week.

Thursday: Hill repeats x 6 with roughly 0.8 mile warmup and cool down. Total mileage 3.5, average pace 10:20, average HR 140 with a high of 164. According to Strava I had some of my fastest times ever up this hill. I wasn’t terribly consistent with where I hit the lap button, but my Garmin had the uphill sections at 8:25, 8:55, 8:52, 9:33, 9:22 and 9:15. You can see I definitely fell off toward the end, which I will work on this week.

Friday: Mini strength training plus 30 minutes (8.4 miles) on the stationary bike.

Saturday and Sunday we had planned to do a practice run for the Colonial 200 relay at the end of the month. So I did three runs, totaling 15 miles, over 24 hours.

Run 1 (Saturday at 7 am): 5 miles, average pace 10:37, average HR 137. This was when the toothache from hell (resulting in an emergency root canal a few days later) started to rear its ugly head, so I had some pain from that while running, but it was bearable.

Run 2 (Saturday at 5 pm): 4 miles, average pace 10:19, average HR 140. Somehow the temperature increased about 40 degrees between 7 am and 5 pm, so for this run I was wearing shorts and a tank and sweating like crazy, whereas for the morning run I had tights and a long sleeve and was comfortable. A good amount of hills on this run but I still felt solid.

Run 3 (Sunday at 6 am): 6.3 miles, average pace 10:19, average HR 137 bpm. Temperature had once again dropped about 40 degrees so this was a cold run in a hilly, new-to-me area. I could feel some fatigue in my legs but it didn’t hold me back too much, I just kind of noticed it was there. Felt strong when I finished, which was a good confidence builder for the relay. Of course for the relay I won’t get to sleep in my own bed and shower in between runs.

Total mileage 27.8, with two strength training sessions and one bike ride. Solid week for me.

Cherry Blossom 10-Miler Recap

I was excited for this race as a social event.  I was a bit less excited for this race as a race.  Back when I signed up in December, my loose goal was to run it below a 10-minute average, so finish time under 1:40.  After my half two weeks ago, I was confident I could do that.  But because I had never raced a 10 miler before, I didn’t have a prior time that I wanted to beat, or a particular time that sounded better to me than others did.  I knew Other Liz wanted to PR (somewhere around 1:39) so I figured I would just hang with her as long as I could and see where I ended up. 

That is more or less what happened.

Once again, I had my watch set so that it would not give me current pace or mile splits, which I still think is a good strategy for me.  I did have a timer and total distance, so I had a vague idea of how I was doing.  It’s pretty easy to do the math when you’re trying to keep just under a 10-minute pace.  I also had HR alerts on, although they started to bug me toward the end of the race so I turned them off.

cherry blossom start

The first mile felt awesome.  The race starts out slightly downhill.  It was a gorgeous day and it felt great to be moving.  I now know that mile 1 was 10:06 pace, which was right on target.

 

Mile 2 also felt good.  Maybe a little too good, because we picked up the pace slightly more than planned, to 9:24.  I did not know our exact pace, but when she saw the split Other Liz said it was a “bit aggressive.”  We rolled with it, and mile 3 was 9:21, but it also had a net elevation loss.

 

I have no idea how fast we ran during mile 4 because my GPS glitched and showed a 7:13 split, which sure as hell did not happen.  I noticed when I hit the mile 4 marker that my watch was about a quarter mile ahead, and it stayed at least a quarter mile ahead of the mile markers for the rest of the race.  It was not a big deal because I noticed it when it happened, so I just knew that I would always be at least a quarter mile ahead.

 

By mile 5 I was definitely starting to notice that this was hard.  The buzz of the cherry blossoms and the monuments was wearing off and the pain was setting in.  I kept pushing and ran 9:35 with a water stop.

 

Which seems like a good time to take a moment to discuss the complete cluster*&^% that was the water stops at this race.  The race was crowded.  Super crowded.  Unlike other big races I’ve run, the crowd never thinned out, I was constantly running in a big pack and either weaving my way through other runners or having other runners weaving their way around me.  I have no frigging idea why they did not have water stops on both sides of the road.  At each water stop, a wide road filled with runners had to all move to one side to try to grab a cup, and it was chaos.  I am sure people got stepped on and/or injured.  I definitely lost a bit more time at the water stops than I typically lose just because of the crowd.

 

So it makes sense that mile 6, with no water stop, was almost 20 seconds faster at 9:16.  We crossed the 10K mat in 1:00:05.

 

Shortly after the 10K mat, Other Liz asked me if I had it in me to kick it into another gear.  I didn’t.  Now that I’m seated comfortably at my desk, I wonder if I did.  But I suspect I just didn’t want it badly enough.  By that point I knew that unless I fell apart completely I would make my goal.  So why suffer so badly?  I told her to go on and I’m not sorry I did.  I backed off the gas a bit.  I was still working hard and still hurting, but not the balls to the wall effort I would have had to make to keep up, and on that day I was okay with that.

 

I played little games with myself to keep going.  Some of them admittedly were super judgy.  Mostly, I would pick out a person who I thought I should be able to beat and try to stay with and eventually pass him/her.  I made these judgments mostly based on what said person was wearing.  Way overdressed for the day?  No way I am going to let you beat me while wearing all those clothes.  Wearing a ridiculous tutu?   I am coming for you.

 

Miles 7-10 were 9:44, 9:52, 9:48 and 10:02, and the last 0.3 (remember my watch was off) was 9:38.  Again, now that I am looking at the numbers I’m kicking myself a bit.  But my final time was 1:37:37 and I feel great about that.

 

cherry blossom finish

This was the last race I am running just for me for a while.  I have three relays coming up in the next two months.  It will be fun to have the excitement of a race atmosphere without having to go after a specific time.   That will take me right into marathon training.

And this was my first 10 mile race, so technically a PR!
cherry blossom PR bell

Training log, week of March 27, 2017

Monday: Stretching and strength training. Did 15 push-ups in a row on my toes, which is pretty damn good for me.

Tuesday: Easy 4 miles, average pace 10:59, average HR 134 bpm.   It’s race week so I was very happy to take it easy.

Wednesday: 5 miles with a big group (pic is from Wednesday’s run, and this wasn’t even everybody). This was the maiden voyage for my replacement Garmin Fenix, and I didn’t set up my HR alerts correctly so I had to turn them off. Probably pushed the pace a bit more than I should have for an easy run, but I felt good and like I wasn’t working all that hard. Average pace 10:18/mile, Average HR 145.

Thursday: 5 more miles that felt awesome. Lots of hills on the route we ran, and although they slowed me down a little I still felt strong. Average pace 10:12/mile, average HR 138.

Friday: Mini-strength training routine at home. Really really didn’t want to do it but forced myself to anyway.

Saturday: 2.5 mile shakeout pre-Cherry Blossom 10 miler. As seems to be the case with most of my shakeouts, a short run at a slow-ish for me pace felt harder than it should have felt and made me wonder how the hell I was going to run four times as far at a much faster pace. Average pace 11:03/mile, average HR 140.

Sunday: Cherry Blossom 10-miler! Race recap to come.

Goals for next week: at least two strength training sessions (one done already!) and hill repeats.

Marine Corps Marathon is happening!

This week I was lucky enough to obtain a code that allowed me to register for the Marine Corps Marathon without trying my luck in the lottery.  The MCM organization has a 17.75K race in March, and anyone who runs that gets an automatic entry to MCM.  I didn’t run it, but a local person did.  She wasn’t going to use the code so she passed it on to me.  I am IN.

Now I need to think about how the heck I’m going to train for it.  Last year, a few days after the Richmond Marathon, I wrote down a bullet point list of what I needed to do differently and what I thought I did well.  Looking at it four plus months later, I still think I was right about most of it.  I suppose we’ll see.

What I need to do differently next time I take on the marathon

  • Different fueling strategy.  While I was training for the marathon, our coach told us not to use any gels or blocks until we got over 14 miles.  That might be a good technique for some, but it got me out of the habit of fueling regularly, and when I tried to pick it back up with the longer distances I had trouble.  I also think all the sugar was what made me nauseated during the race.  So this cycle I need more fueling practice and less sugar, and possibly more salt.  I would also like to explore using “real” foods as opposed to gels and blocks.
  • More, slower miles.  On a lot of my training runs I wore myself out chasing faster people. Follow the intermediate schedule so I get three 20 milers in. I think the time on my feet, the confidence and the fueling practice would have helped me.
  • Speed work. I did none for Richmond.
  • Run-specific strength-training. Again, I did none while training for Richmond and my legs were completely crapped out by the end of the race.
  • Run more based on feel, less based on trying to hit a certain time. Even though I started slow for me, it didn’t feel GOOD, and I probably could have gone even slower in the very beginning.
  • RELAX. I was so tense, especially in the beginning, that I think I wore myself out. I know I can get through the distance now if I train consistently, so I’m hopeful this will be easier when I do it again.
  • Fewer races during training. One tune-up half (that’s only a half, no extra miles) and that’s it.

What I did really well

  • Stuck to the plan. I never skipped a long run. I did a few of my weekly runs in the pool when I was hurting/sick (also a good choice!) but I got them done every single time.
  • Found a way to get my long runs in even when I was traveling.
  • Didn’t put on weight. Lost at the very beginning and then stayed steady.
  • Didn’t go out too fast.
  • Picked Richmond as my first one. The crowd support was amazing and sleeping (well!) in my own bed really helped, as well as not having to stress too much about logistics.
  • Running with MTT/Pink. Those coaches were so supportive and I got lots of good advice along the way.
  • Went to physical therapy at the first sign of a problem.
  • Foam rolled every single day.
  • Found running buddies to train with during the week who had to run the same mileage at the same times.

Training Log, week of 3/20/17

Monday: Stretching and strength for 20 minutes. I have learned that the best way to get myself to actually do strength training is to aim really low. So I spent some time on the foam roller and doing MYRTL exercises, and then I did some squats, lunges, wall sit, push-ups, planks (front and side), Russian twists, and a few other things.

Tuesday: 4 miles easy. Average pace 10:25, Average HR 136.

Wednesday: 5 miles easy. Average pace 10:21, Average HR 142. Probably pushed the pace a little more than I should have for this run, especially given the hills.  I felt good, but my HR definitely got a little high for what should have been a truly easy run.

Thursday: 15 minutes strength training and 30 minutes stationary bike.

Friday: Speed play run with 2-minute intervals in Zone 5. Intervals were 9:37, 9:04, 8:56, 8:37, 8:16. I had some GPS glitchiness during this workout so I’m not sure how accurate those interval paces are, but I felt like I was running in the high 8s for most of them.   4 miles, Strava said average pace was 9:54, but again, GPS glitchiness so it was probably a tad slower than that.  Later that day I contacted Garmin and they are sending me a replacement watch because of all the issues I’ve had.

Saturday: 3.1 miles easy. My mom was in town and I wanted to get an easy workout out of the way. Average pace 11:02, average HR 131 (that might be artificially low because my HR seemed to drop way low in the middle of the run for no reason).

Sunday: 9 miles on the Capital Trail. We left from Great Shiplock Park, ran four miles out toward Varina and back, and then did another mile out-and-back in the other direction. Ran with a friend who was recovering from being very sick, so ran slow and walked a fair amount, but I felt very good and like I still had lots of gas left in the tank at the end. Average pace 11:06, average HR 116.

Total miles: 25.1

Total strength training sessions: 2

Total cross training sessions: 1

All in all a very solid week for me, especially coming off a race.

Shamrock Half Marathon Recap

 

The main headline going into this race, and frankly all through the race, was the weather.  It was miserable.  Temperatures in the high 30s/low 40s, but it felt colder because (a) it rained the whole time; and (b) the wind was gusting up to 40 mph.

I had planned my outfit pretty carefully and overall I think I did a good job.  When I’m not running, I can’t stand the cold.  But as soon as I start moving I heat up pretty quickly.  And then when I stop it’s back to misery.  So I wore capris, a tank, arm warmers and gloves.  Over that I put a fleece zip-up jacket that I had bought at Goodwill.  Over that I put a big green poncho to keep everything dry.  I also wore my pink “Run Happy” hat.  I opted not to carry water, so I just wore my spibelt, and put in it three salted caramel Gu (I only used two but wanted an extra) and my phone, which I put in a plastic bag.  I also brought a drop bag with a full set of warm clothes in it.

I stayed at a hotel that was about a mile and a half from the start, so I walked there.  The good thing about where I was is that I didn’t have to worry about finding parking or waiting in line for portapotties.  But it also meant that by the time I got to the starting line, my shoes and socks were soaked through.  I tried to shrug it off and tell myself it was going to happen regardless so it might as well be now, but I did worry about doing a full 13.1 in soggy shoes.

I didn’t come up with a solid race plan until the night before the race.  This is what I came up with.

Shamrock Plan

For my workouts I usually use specific HR zones.  I wanted to give myself a little more flexibility for the race, but still use the HR to keep myself from going out too fast, as I have done in most of the half marathons I’ve run.

For the first 1.5 miles, I chose 130-150, which is between Zones 2 and 3.  I knew I wanted to start easy, but I also know that my HR tends to spike during the first mile or so and then settle in, so I wanted to leave some room for that to happen without having to slow down TOO much.

This mostly worked.  My HR alert still went off a lot during that first mile and a half, but when I saw the numbers they were only in the low 150s.  And I was running into one heck of a headwind, plus the excitement of starting the race, so it makes sense that my HR was a little high.  I stayed about where I wanted to start pace-wise.  About a mile in, I ditched my $2.63 Goodwill jacket.  Mile 1 was 10:22.

For the next 8.5 miles I used 140-160, which is the top of Zone 2 to the bottom of Zone 4.  Again, I wanted some flexibility based on how I was feeling, while still keeping loose boundaries.  I realized while running this section that because of how it was programmed, my watch wasn’t showing me my splits.  That was not a bad thing.  In the past, I let my splits affect my mental game too much.  If I saw a “fast” split I would worry that I wasn’t leaving enough in the tank for the rest of the race.  If I saw a “slow” split I would fret about not meeting my goal.  Without my splits and with no pace screen on my watch (also intentional), most of the time I had no idea how fast I was running, although I could see in general that I was averaging about 10 minute miles.

Around mile 3-4, my friend Liz (“other Liz”) started to drop back a bit.  She said I had picked up the pace to mid-9s, and I now see that although mile 2 was 10:18, mile 3 was 9:56 and mile 4 was 9:29.  So I definitely had picked it up, probably a smidge too much.  We lost the crazy headwind about this time, which I’m sure is the main reason I had gotten faster.  She told me to go on, but I did back off a bit, because I knew if I was outrunning her comfortable pace then I was definitely running too fast.

Shortly after mile 4 I stopped to take my first Gu.  Because everything was wet and cold this was harder than it should have been.  I dropped one of my gloves (which was soaking wet by then anyway) and although someone was nice enough to pick it up and give it to me, by then it was REALLY wet.  I couldn’t face putting it back on my hand, so I carried it until I dropped it for good at my next Gu stop.  Mile 4 was 10:11, probably because of the time lost dealing with the Gu.  Mile 6 was 9:50.  Right on track.

Around mile 6 I started to be aware that this was pretty hard.  I crossed the 10K mat in 1:02 something, which I knew was about where I wanted to be.  I was working hard but not dying.  I tried to simply focus on the mile I was in and not to think about all the miles I still had to go, but it was a lot of work not to let my mind go there.

And then something amazing happened.  I heard a guy talking about how he had run more than 400 half marathons.  And then other Liz pointed out that the guy was BART FREAKING YASSO, and he was right next to me.  So I ran next to him for a minute and told him I had heard him on about 10 different podcasts.  I told him how helpful the “run the mile you’re in” mantra that I got from the Runner’s World podcast he was in was, and thanked him.  He didn’t seem to be terribly chatty and I was vaguely aware that I was making an ass of myself, so I kept going past him and didn’t see him again.  But still, AMAZING.  I got a burst of energy.  I didn’t want to do poorly in a race where I got to talk to Bart Yasso.

I’m not sure exactly what mile it was, but at one point while we were running through Ft. Story we hit a sandy area.  And the sand was flying at us sideways.  People were stopping to take pictures of it.  I turned my head away from it, braced against the wind and miraculously managed not to get any in my eyes.  But it was crazy.

I don’t remember a lot of miles 7-10, honestly.  I know it was starting to hurt.  I still had no idea how fast we were going but it felt like a good clip and Liz said we were doing okay.  Like a good pacer she was starting to run a step in front of me and I just tried to chase her.  I kept repeating to myself, “get comfortable with the uncomfortable,” and it helped a bit.  I stopped around mile 8.4 at the water stop to take my second Gu.  Miles 7 and 8 were both 9:43 (partially due to the lift from seeing Bart, no doubt), mile 9 was 10:07 (the Gu probably slowed me down again) and mile 10 was 9:59.

My race plan involved picking up the pace for the last 5K.  I had programmed my watch for a 150-175 bpm HR, which is all out for me.  But when I got there I didn’t have an all out effort in me.  Liz said we didn’t need to pick it up until mile 11 and I was relieved.  My HR alert kept going off telling me my HR was under 150, which seemed impossible because I felt exhausted and like I was working my butt off.  Mile 11 was 9:50.

Mile 12 was where it REALLY started to hurt.  I started to feel a bit nauseous and whined that I was going to throw up (I didn’t).  I knew we were close and my goal was in sight but it still felt so far.  Despite my plan I did slow up a bit this mile, it was 10:02.

By mile 13 I knew that I was stupid close to a big PR, so I put my head down and worked.  It hurt like hell.  But it was my second fastest mile of the day at 9:40.  By the end of mile 13 we had turned onto the boardwalk.

Veteran Shamrockers know this, so I had been warned, and other Liz reminded me.  But when you turn onto the boardwalk, it looks like the finish line is right there.  It’s not.  It’s actually more than a quarter mile away, which is a lot for a final kick.  I definitely sped up here, but I didn’t feel like I had any speed left in me.  I think I hit 13.1 miles on my watch right at 2:10, but of course I weaved and didn’t run tangents perfectly (or really try to run them at all, I was just surviving), so my total distance was 13.2.  Official time was 2:10:54.

I had hoped to run under 2:10, although I’d backed away from that goal the last couple of weeks because I didn’t feel like I was quite there yet.  On a perfect day when I wasn’t running in soggy shoes, wearing a poncho and getting constantly beat up by a headwind, I might have done it.  But I truly could not be more thrilled with my race.

This is the best part.

Shamrock plan executed

I truly stuck with my plan and I negative split the race.  I have never come close to doing that with a half before.

Things that went well about this race:

  • Came up with a good plan and stuck to it.
  • Fueling: Gu at miles 4 and 8 seemed to be just right. None of the nausea-inducing (for me) Gatorade/Powerade, but water at almost every water stop (I think I skipped the mile 12.5 stop).
  • Wardrobe: For the conditions, I think I dressed about as well as I could have. It was going to suck no matter what I wore but I don’t think my clothing held me back.
  • I generally stayed in a good headspace. When I felt my brain going negative, I tried to interrupt it with more positive thoughts.
  • I kept fighting. There were times when I felt like the wheels were coming off and I wanted to stop.  I did back off the pace a little to get myself together a few times, but I didn’t stop and walk like I have in the past.

Things that went not so well about this race:

  • The weather, obviously. Although other than the headwinds, it wasn’t bad racing weather.
  • If I’m being nitpicky, I might have sped up a little bit too much in miles 3 and 4. But given that I stayed within the HR range I wanted to be in and I couldn’t see my actual pace, I don’t feel too badly about that.

Coming up: final thoughts on how the 80/20 running plan worked for me for this cycle.