Well, it’s officially summer, and I’ve officially completed two weeks worth of my half marathon training plan as I work towards my goal race at the Pocatello Half Marathon. It’s been largely a mental battle this week, as I find myself really intimidated by the following concepts:
- Running in the heat. This is my eighth summer here in South Carolina and I still loathe this time of year in every way. I need to get over it, and I am – more on this later this week.
- Running fast(er). As it relates to item #1, I am even more intimidated by running faster than I normally would be because I am convinced that I am going to collapse and die and then melt into the boiling asphalt. All that will remain is a puddle of sweat where my body used to be.
- Hitting my paces. I touched on this a bit last week, but I really stress out about hitting my goal paces. Surprisingly, I’m not worried as much about going too slow – I worry about going too fast. Because I haven’t done speed work in a long time, I don’t rely on myself to “run by feel” when it comes to my goal race pace or tempo speed. I have no idea what those speeds are supposed to feel like, so I just assume they should feel really hard. Then I end up gunning it and running these workouts wayyyy faster than I should, which is a great way to get injured. So instead, I spend a lot of time checking my watch or phone.
However, despite all these (irrational) fears, I got out there last week and nailed every workout, except the runs where I ran too fast. Here’s what I was scheduled for versus what I actually did:
- Schedule: 1-3 miles at race pace (9:05-9:10 pace). What I did: 2.4 miles at 8:48 pace. FAIL.
- Schedule: 3 miles easy (9:26 – 10:27 pace). What I did: 3 miles at 9:56 pace.
- Schedule: 3-5 miles with 6-8 x 30 seconds and 1-2 minutes recovery. What I did: 3.25 miles with 8 x 30 secs and 1 min recovery.
- Schedule: 3-5 miles easy. What I did: 4.3 miles at 9:37 pace.
- Schedule: 7-10 miles long run (9:29 – 10:50 pace). What I did: 7.4 miles at 10:10 pace.
So if you’re looking at my above schedule (which you may very well not care about – and I TOTALLY understand if that is the case), you’ll notice two big things – one, I suck at race pace, and two, I ran a lot – for me. I have generally only been running 3 days a week and very rarely 4. During week 1 of training, I ran 4 times. Last week, I did all the workouts on the schedule, knowing in the back of my mind that I would be happy to take an extra rest day if I felt like my back needed it. My plan right now is to try and get the speed work and long runs in for sure, and remove optional easy miles as needed.
I also plan on alternating heavier weeks with lighter weeks, so during week 3, I’ll be running 4 times. This may change as the mileage and speed work starts to build up, but the nice thing about a half marathon training plan is that the mileage is never REALLY that high. My mileage will likely never go above 30 miles per week, even at the peak of this training plan, which is still considerably lower than the peak of marathon training. I’m not married to any part of this process and I’m mostly interested in seeing if I can gain some speed while keeping my back healthy and feeling good. That is by FAR the most important thing to me!
My barre schedule has slowed down a bit, which is good news for my sanity and my free time. I’m teaching usually 5-6 classes a week now, which is not only completely manageable, it’s also great for cross training.
And lest you think I’m slacking on my other favorite form of crosstraining – hiking – think again! AJ and I made our way up to North Carolina last weekend for some quality time with T-Rex Mom (my dad was visiting my grandfather in Wisconsin) and we got to go hiking with her.
I loved this hike because it was a lot different from what AJ and I normally do. This one involved lots of rock climbing and even using some ropes to climb up and view a waterfall! In addition to obviously being a great lower body workout, it was nice to work the upper body a bit, too.
Of course, the best part was the view! It’s wonderful to live in an area with so many amazing hikes that are just a short drive away.
Oh! I also should mention that, in keeping with my Six Steps Forward post, I have been killing it at running or walking before work and…drumroll please…I have gotten in over 10,000 steps a day for the past 8 days in a row and 14 out of the last 16 days! Yes, I am now that crazy person who will walk around in my house to get the last 200 steps in before I go to bed if necessary.
LEAVE A COMMENT: Do you have any fears when it comes to training? How do you overcome them?