I’ve run the Fargo Half Marathon 6 times. Other than the very first Fargo Half Marathon (2005 when I ran my second fastest ever half in 1:32:53), they all have had one thing in common. I’ve not run particularly well. I could make a laundry list of reasons, but I’ve either been busy with basketball and not trained, been injured, or ran with others. I’ve always said I’d really like to run that even fast, though. I’ve always thought if I was fit, I could finish in the top 50 of a race of over 5000 runners. Last year, 50th place was 1:27:11 which doesn’t seem crazy out line for what I could possibly run.
This year was the first year in a long time that I actually consistently trained through the entire winter. This year, I’ve already run 157 miles more than I had at this point last year. My workouts have been phenomenal. I was to the point where I could very comfortably run 10 miles at 6:30 pace. I got myself to the point where I was running 8 miles near 49 minutes which is just mind boggling for me. It’s way ahead of any sort of fitness I’ve ever had.
Unfortunately, as I really started to amp up my training, I had a bit of setback (11 setbacks to be exact). I spent a few days in the hospital and got put on a medication (beta blockers). I didn’t think it was going to be too bad, but it was a miserable drug. It made me so tired I was falling asleep at 6:30 PM some nights. I gained somewhere between 10-15 pounds in a month. Worse of all (for me), it slowed my running by about 1 minute per mile.
This was all incredibly disappointing news to me. I had a huge goal of breaking 1:30 in the Fargo Half this year. I ran a 1:32 in 2005 and a 1:31 in 2008 along with a handful of races in the 1:33-1:36 range. Last fall, I rocked out a 1:34:53 which gave me confidence that I could definitely dip under 1:30 with some training. The training was going incredibly well until my setback. Now, a return trip to the doctor has resulted in me being able to wean off the beta blockers meaning no more falling asleep right after supper and hopefully I’ll be able to run a respectable half marathon in two weeks.
Although I don’t know what my prospects of breaking 1:30 are (probably fairly slim), I’m excited that once again I can just be myself. No performance “de-hancing” drugs holding me back. Even if I don’t break 1:30 this time, I’ve got a chance to put in the training and run some good races this summer/fall.