If you’ve been following me for a little while now, you know I’m not really big on training updates. Focusing solely on running now is strange, very strange. My legs are not used to the “pounding” of 20-30 miles a week but they are already starting to adapt.
I ran a 15K (9.3 miles) a few weeks ago as my kick-off to longer runs. My goal was sub 8:00 min/mile pace because up until then my longest run was averaging 6 miles, smart plan, I know. No pressure though. If I couldn’t hold that pace, I would just back off. My legs were pretty good at maintaining a steady pace under 7:50’s and after mile 6, I realized the anticipated crash wasn’t going to happen. It helped having people around me and I just focused on picking people to pass. I finished with a total time right around 1:12 and was happy with the run. Sorry for the lack luster race report, I’ll dazzle you next weekend with my half-marathon where I hope to PR by breaking 1:40.
Long Runs – So far my longest training run has been 12 miles with steady 8:35 min/mile pace throughout. I’ve surprised myself by being consistent and actually enjoying the increase in mileage. This past triathlon season, I struggled to get excited about most of my runs but last Friday at 5:30 AM, it was raining as I started 12 miles and didn’t let up the entire run. For some reason, I didn’t care because it felt great to just concentrate on running. By concentrating on shorter and more intense workouts this summer, I forgot what it was like to throw all other thoughts and worries aside and just run. Swimming used to be my escape. One of the best pieces of advice my coach gave me was one day at swim practice crying because my boyfriend broke up with me via e-mail a few hours earlier. He told me, “Leave everything at the gate because when you are here in the pool, you are here to swim. Nothing else matters: not your parents, not school, not some stupid boy. Let this be your two hours to escape the world.” My recent long runs reminded me of this.
Fast Women – For a few months my boyfriend and I have joined a few friends for a tempo run every Tuesday and have enjoyed getting pushed by faster and stronger runners. Jessica is fabulous to run with because she has a great combination of a fun yet serious attitude towards running, plus she’s fast. Our first tempo run hit me hard. Dying feels like an understatement. I kept up with Jess for a little over a mile and then faded. Each subsequent week was better and my body has started to adapt to a higher intensity of a 3-4 mile tempo run. That is until Mary joined us last week. I invited Mary to join our weekly run after meeting at 1-day relay. The plan was to hold 7:30 min/mile, which was a little slower than our usual pace. Half a mile into the run I was frustrated that my body was having such a difficult time with 7:30’s. My legs felt heavy and a side cramp started but I didn’t want to lose Jess and Mary. I held on until we had a half mile to go and did my best to stay close behind. Forgetting my watch, I didn’t know until we finished that we were actually holding 6:55 pace. Looking forward to running with these ladies again for some more butt kicking.
Recovery – My new schedule has made it difficult to incorporate recovery runs. Ideally, I’d have a day of rest or an easy 4-5 miles after a hard run but instead, I’m on my feet for back-to-back 12 hour shifts. It’s been a great learning experience but I’m exhausted after waking up before 5 AM and getting home after 8 PM. Trying to fit any type of workout in on these days will require more dedication than setting out for a long run on my day off.
How is your training going? Are any workouts more difficult than others to fit into your schedule or get excited about?
On a different note, I wanted to share my dorky creative side with you. I love Halloween but I don’t get the whole excuse to dress up scandalously. This picture I saw on Post Secret sums up how I feel about costumes.
Here are some of my creations over the past few years.
H2O DNA Rum & Coke