Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Plan to Finish the LA Full in March

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
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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  1. The beauty of running is that it is usually on your own terms. I have never ran a full marathon although I have completed 11 of them. Walking is just a part of my races. When stopping I will either raise my hand or look behind be to avoid being in the way. I wanted to ask you what you think of the Hoover Dam race. Is it mostly dirt which would be better? I really want to do that one, but I will be back to back weekends out there with Hoover and the Really Big Free Marathon.

  2. Hi Jeremy, thanks for the comment.

    I LOVED Hoover Dam. 6 Tunnels/Lake Mead area is my favorite place to run and train. It's a slightly grave course, but there is some road part to at the beginning and end. It was the place I ran my first sub2 Half. I will run it again. Note: Calico has tentatively changed the date of Hoover Dam to December 15th, I believe. The Full is two times on the same route. Not sure if I would do that, but I will at least run the Half, again.

    I know many who are racing the Really Big Free Marathon or Half. I am still undecided.

  3. Glad you're approaching the race on your own terms.

    I discovered during goofy training that I could run-walk faster than run. I nearly PR'd the RnR half with a run-walk. I plan to PR the MCM in October with run-walk.

    But more importantly than PR's, I think run-walk (even in training) helps me avoid injuries. And that's my first priority!

  4. Hi Dan,

    I train and race on my terms, always If I am being "pushed" into something and I agree to it, it's my decision. When I have a pacer, it is still on my terms. I tell them my goals - and that is what I strive to do.

    It was almost comical how many times fellow racers tried to push me to run a Full. Some almost even registered me. If they had, they would of wasted their money LOL.

    Many can run/walk faster than they can run. For me, I know I need to wrap my brain around 26.2. I am not there yet - and actually doing one - will get me over that thought.

    Yes, avoiding injuries and burn out is also my priority - always!

  5. I've done 26.2 twice, and neither time did I focus on the whole 26.2. I focused on getting to the halfway point, completing 13.1. And only after I did that, did I look and say, "Oh, let me do another half marathon right now." :)

  6. Great advice, Dan! Ironically, that is my plan. Piece by piece. This race event will help me gauge all future Full's, if I choose to race anymore. I don't know how my body will react in this situation, so predictions and goals are out the window. Just do it and finish, upright.

    Thanks for sharing!


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