If you continually train then you will always be prepared for the next race or event no matter how last minute it may be.
The first couple years of my training I would ultimately only train if I knew that I had a race coming up. I would plan out my schedule prior to the race and then when the race was over I would sit back, relax and ultimately enjoy life with a few more drinks then normal. BUT when I would find another race to do, it was always so hard to get started again. My legs would ache, my heart rate felt high and it would take ten times longer to get back to where I was prior to my break. It is definitely OK to take a break (I recommend it a couple days tops), but it is NOT OK to take a 2-3 week or month hiatus.
This weekend Jeremy and I decided to run the AF Half Marathon, a semi last minute decision, but since we got a number we decided to run it together and look at it as a long training run with a lot of motivating people around us. The only other race Jeremy and I had done before this one was the Terrapin Tri-County Adventure Tri , April 28th (which, if you are in that area of the south, I highly advise looking it up. It was a really fun race, with trails, tough hills, a kayak section and road bike). Since that race, I haven’t done any racing, just training and maintaining. Even when I was moving from Mississippi to Ohio last month, I spent 2 weeks and over 3000 miles on the road traveling to visit family and friends, but still managed to find time to throw on a sports bra and some sneakers and go for a run (one reason I love running so much, you don’t need alot of equipment!).
This past weekend tested my always training, always prepared theory. The first official Air Force marathon was held on September 20, 1997, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Air Force, and is held the third Saturday in September each year in celebration of the U.S. Air Force. This year marked the 16th anniversary of the run. We didn’t plan on running in this race. Our previous plans to attend a wedding in NJ fell through due to money and not having the leave to do it, so we asked around for any one with a race number they weren’t going to use. We were lucky enough to have a friend who had an extra half marathon number and they were more then happy to give it to someone that could actually run the race and not waste it. At around mile 3.5 we encountered a man waving bells and whistles from a police car yelling “you’re going the wrong way, turn around, you’re going the wrong way!” Now, there were about 150 runners in front us that decided not to turn around, so neither did we. We had put ourselves on the Marathon course, missed our Half-Marathon turn due to lack of signage and no direction from the staff. We wanted to get a long run in, well we got it….by the time we saw the Half-Marathoners coming past us in the other direction (runners that were in the 10 minute per mile range), we decided to turn around and re-do the loop we had just done. Overall we ran 15.07 miles in 2:02.22. The AF has already apologized to the many runners who were turned around and I am confident that they are making many adjustments to their staff/planning so this doesn’t happen again. Overall it was a beautiful day, a fun run and I applaud the AF for all they did with the events, the course, the finish line and of course the B-2 Fly-Over.
A few hours later Jeremy and I ran the Dayton Hash House Harriers Red Dress Run, approx 4 miles of running through Downtown Dayton in Red Dresses and drinking some beers to celebrate a long day of training. ~19 miles on Saturday and I was still able to go for a hike on Sunday without any issues. I truely believe if it weren’t for our continual training, we wouldn’t have been able to put that kind of mileage on our bodies. But with a healthy diet, a solid workout each day and our regular weekend active recovery day, we feel great. Now that is what I called prepared!