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. ❤
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?
02/08/2016 at 10:09 AM
It’s so crazy that 9 miles might be my “normal” distance when I’m running (which I’m not right now… but when I am), but 10 miles feels SO far. And then in marathon training, 10 miles is nothing. I don’t get how the brain works haha
02/08/2016 at 11:11 AM
Exactly! Haha it’s such a weird perception we have.
02/08/2016 at 7:12 PM
I know what you mean about being afraid you will forget how to run fast!! What podcasts do you listen to while you run? I’m always looking for new ones, especially about running:)
02/09/2016 at 8:49 AM
right now just Runner’s Connect (love it!), i tried listening to a few from Running on Om because Lauren Fleshman was on, but honestly i can’t stand the girl who hosts. it’s really sloppy compared to Tina Muir on RC. I’m going to start Serial, cause i’m super behind and now cameron’s listening lol. What are you listening to? I’m so new to podcasts!
02/09/2016 at 11:40 AM
Runners connect is my favorite too! And I’ve listened to a few running on om ones. I don’t know of any other good ones but sometimes just randomly search for topics I’m interested in.
02/08/2016 at 8:09 PM
My cats would kill me if I dressed them up. 🙂
I need to do exactly as you have done and slow down my easy runs. I think that’s where all my burn out comes from, but I also agree with you and Lisa!
02/09/2016 at 8:50 AM
totally agree. if i can’t make through a training plan thousands of runners are using, i’m running too fast!
02/08/2016 at 10:59 PM
I usually have to psyche myself up for fast runs and get pretty nervous that I will fail – so ridiculous! I think my dog would try to eat anything that we put on her!
02/09/2016 at 8:51 AM
it is! nerves are normal, but actually thinking we will fail before we try is just plain dumb. i’m surprised LE let me just put the shirt on. She didn’t try taking it off or anything!
02/08/2016 at 11:04 PM
I’ve been adding in recovery runs based on heart rate (which is like, RIDICULOUSLY slow) and keeping easy runs in an easy range. I haven’t had much reason yet in my plan to see how this affects my fast paces but I really hope it helps!
02/09/2016 at 8:52 AM
i was so surprised i could tell a difference in the first week. Hope slowing down works in your favor!
02/10/2016 at 1:25 PM
We have holly collars for the dogs (leaves and all) that they wear around Christmas … which is as much as they will tolerate!
I also think it is amazing the mental games we play with ourselves … I agree with pickyrunner that it is bizarre but true that we think of 9 vs 10 miles so differently. Or in my case – I have a 12.5 mile route I will do without thought … but a HALF MARATHON?!?! Whew 🙂
An I am glad that you are seeing results from slowing down … it is so important to do, but not easy.