I use to have a mantra, "I would rather run slow, than ever walk during a race"
In my opinion - moments of walking showed me to to be ill-prepared or not pushing enough. I refused to be that racer, I felt by walking I was disrespecting the space of those who ARE running.
While I had always given myself permission to take a walk break during races, I never did. Not even on the hilliest hills.
I registered for the LA Marathon the day registration opened up. I had (finally) decided I wanted to run in a Full.
I made that decision on MY terms. Even though I was pressured many times by fellow racers to run a Full in 2011, I refused to register for a Full until I wanted to. While I appreciate everyone having the confidence in me to run a Full, I just didn't want to. Afterall, 2011 was my first full year of racing. A Full did not interest me.
While training for the Vegas Half, I was also training for LA, but my high miles were not going to start until the week after the Vegas Half.
Post the Vegas Half - after weeks of recovery and physical therapy, I lost a good 5 weeks of solid miles.
At the end of December, I decided I needed to seek alternatives for me to finish the LA Marathon, even if it mean to walk.
I read up on the Galloway Method. I knew, if I could plan out my walks breaks and when to run, I could accomplish the LA Marathon.
I heard of many runners finishing Full's in sub4's and sub 3:30 (or faster) with the Galloway Method. Even runners (who are younger than me) Boston Qualifying using the Galloway Method.
I now feel I CAN finish the LA Marathon. I see the beauty in run/walk intervals and how it can benefit any athlete.
As I continue my training and building my strength - I am more relaxed. I no longer worry about finishing the distance.
My attitude has now changed. What changed it? I took 3 walk breaks during my New Year's Eve 10K. Yes, 3 on a 10K. I had such a hard time breathing, I had no choice but to take 30 second walk breaks. Was was the outcome? I PR'd by close to 3 minutes and I had quite the kick at the end. Think it was a fluke? Nope. Two weeks later, I PR'd again. 2 PR's in two weeks.
I will race the LA Full on my terms, not by the pressure of anyone else's expectations of what they think I should to on March 18th. I will run, walk, skip or whatever else my body decides to do that day.
I have the same goal I had at my first Half in 2010: finish with a smile on my face, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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