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Inside the 10 Mile Mind – Vol. 3

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.

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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.File_000 (61)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?)

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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. File_000 (62)

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. ❤

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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 😉

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Last Week

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)

Sunday: REST!

Total Miles: 28.2

Do you dress up your pet?

How do you mentally get through your long runs?


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Inside the 10 Mile Mind – II

Monday: 5 rounds- 1000m row, 15 weighted squats (50lbs), 20 alt lunges w/med ball twist

Sunday’s long run was unexpectedly incredible. I went into it feeling like I’d die out around mile 6, just because I’ve been doing much shorter distances lately and because I waited until the last possible minute to actually get outside and run (like 3:30ish). Since I figured it was gonna be a rough one I turned my Garmin on, hid it under my sweater and listened to my body to pace me for the day.

Ohio Sunrise

Ohio Sunrise

Surprisingly I kept a really even pace. I focused on my breath, my footfall, the turnover– picking up my feet quickly instead of heel striking– basically all the little things CrossFit Endurance has been drilling into my head. The two lights I stopped at, i checked out the Garmin juuuuust to see where my pace was. Each time my watch read 8:22. I’ll take it. I laughed that the average pace never changed, but knew this was the easy pace my body wanted for the given day. I chose to respect it, enjoy the outside and fall into Jack White’s album, Lazaretto. 

Mile 6 came and went. I figured I’d get tired soon, I always get tired near the end. Who wouldn’t? Yet again to my surprise, I didn’t tire. The cold got to me a bit, but the running was fantastic. Every uphill wasn’t a challenge, just a different footfall, arm swing, and breathing pattern. Every curve on the trail was a chance to practice tangents. Each person in front of me was a target to push just a little harder, to pass.

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It was just a good run. Nothing special except I was mentally alert, and aware of my body for a full 10 miles. I almost always fall in and out of body consciousness while running. Sunday I was present in the best way possible. I’m a runner and I’m ready for new things to happen in 2015.

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And even though my mile splits ranged from 8:00-8:35, my average ended up a solid 8:22. Haha.

Last Week

Mon: 5 Rounds: 500m row, 8 body weight dips, AMRAP* TRX triceps extension, 15 each side lateral wall ball slams.

Tues: 4m easy 8:20/pace, AMRAP TRX chestflys/pushups 

Wed: 4m easy (but hard because of the wind) 7:34/pace, 15 min running drills/ 5min bare foot running

Thurs: Rest

Fri: 5.5m race pace treadmill workout, warm up 8:45, marathon pace 8:15, 1/2 pace 7:19, 10k pace 6:53, 5k pace 6:27, half mile cool down

Sat: 5 Rounds: 15 wide grip rows, 15 close grip rows (30lb barbell), 15 sit ups

Sun: 10m long 8:22/pace

Total Miles: 23.5

Any notable runs lately?

Who’s ready for the Holidays and a few days off???