Week one of half marathon training went as well as it could have gone. My easy runs were easy (all 9:00+ pace) and the speed workouts were much easier and faster than normal! (6:44-7:30/pace). I’m already seeing the benefits from changing up the pacing and running slower on easy days.
Saturday morning was the first double digit run since November. There’s something about the first 10 miler in a training program that I love. It’s exciting, a little scary but the expectations aren’t too high. It’s the first of many long runs i’ll encounter and eventually 10 miles will be the “shorter” long run i’ll endure.
I downloaded a few podcasts and set out on a flatter trail that i knew wasn’t completely covered in snow. The first mile was under construction. Running over the uneven, muddy, wooden planks forced a slow pace and took my mind off of how cold it was.It also helped that the podcast I chose was all about running my easy runs “painfully slow.” The first several miles were so easy I got to enjoy the outdoors (I hadn’t run outside since Jan. 16th!) and my legs had plenty of time to ease into this run.
My plan was to run the first six miles as slow as possible, squeeze in the Nuun Year Dash virtual 5k and finish with a cool down mile. It doesn’t matter if i’m running 400s, mile repeats, a 5k or an ‘A’ race, I’m always nervous that i won’t be able to run fast when i’m supposed to. And with all the slow running i’ve been doing I was nervous my body wouldn’t remember what “fast” was. (Ridiculous right?)
At 6 miles, I restarted my Garmin, switched from the podcast to EDM Pandora and stretched my legs for a minute. I knew I didn’t want to go all out, there was almost no point since I would be stopped by 2-3 intersections and I still needed to actually finish the long run without burning out. I was hoping for a solid, moderate effort.
I took off and my legs felt as if they were freed from a cage. I was completely shocked at how easily I went from running a 9:20/pace to a 7:16/pace. It felt natural, I felt in control, and that made me the happiest little runner of all.
During long runs in the past, i used to over think a lot. I put myself down and told myself i wouldn’t be able to get faster or ever run a marathon again, or would never meet my half marathon goals. Mental training has been much more important to me for the last several races. I try to only think positive thoughts, even when the run isn’t going fantastic. I’m going to do the best I can on the day, and if things don’t go perfectly…i’m only in training and it’s not my job.
During this particular run I wasn’t thinking about much except that i was going to run until I had to run a little faster for 3 miles, then chill out for the cool down. Breaking up the long run was helpful mentally and physically. When my plan calls for those long run with a “fast finish” I will make sure I leave the last mile for a cool down. It was the one thing I kept telling myself during the 5k effort–> You get to run a slow mile soon! That was actually motivating and a huge relief when I finished the hard portion.
It’s also very motivating to know that a hot shower, hot coffee & a warm puppy are waiting for me afterward. <3
OH and if you haven’t seen my Instagram, i totally put her in my Nuun shirt and threw the medal on her. I figured you guys have seen me in a medal enough ;)
Monday: 5m easy 9:25/pace
Tuesday: 3m easy 9:10/pace, 40 min strength (chest/legs)
Wednesday: 6m HMP Tempo (2m warm up, 3m @ 7:03/pace, 1m cool down) + 1200m row
Thursday: 25min hips/core
Friday: 4.1m easy 9:13/pace, 15min rope pulls & body weight tricep dips
Saturday: 10.1 long (6 @ 9:19/pace, 3.1 @ moderate effort 7:16, 1m cooldown 10:45/pace)
Total Miles: 28.2
Do you dress up your pet?
How do you mentally get through your long runs?