This training block is a step in my journey, regardless of the outcome, and I am enjoying it. I have big goals for CIM, but it's not the be-all end-all of my running. Whether or not I hit my goal, I will still love running, and this build will help me with future builds. God-willing, there will be future builds!
|A day in the life (Meet the Teacher Night)|
I had a tired break-down last night where life, including training, just got overwhelming. Sleep has improved my perspective on things (as it always does), but I sometimes feel like I am doing so many things that I'm not doing my best at any of them. These include working, Mom-ing, training, maintaining a home, weekend activities/memory making, etc.
After a power-packed weekend during which we hosted 5 family members (including 3 children age 5 and under), I awoke sleep deprived on Monday morning to run and strength train. Then I worked my usual 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. workday, and while I was working my husband took my daughter to buy school supplies since we hadn't had time to go over the weekend. They also bought her an early birthday present of fish tank and accessories. I felt like I missed out by not being a part of any of this (I was also mad that he didn't ask me about the fish tank first), and then after I spent an hour that evening catching up on cleaning and laundry, I started noticing that my house's baseboards needed cleaning, the cabinets needed wiped down, the blinds were dusty, etc. I waited until too late to eat dinner and got hangry, then stayed up until 10:00 p.m. (too late for my 4:50 a.m. alarm). I was also coming off a sub-par training weekend, and it all suddenly just became too much. I felt like I had too many balls in the area and I was dropping them all. I don't feel like I'm doing a lot of things I can "give up" (the irony of writing that on a blog; I could give up blogging obviously!), but for that evening I felt like pursuing a 2:45:00 was just too much.
Today I'm feeling back on track, and I had two solid runs; both were just base runs, but my 8.1 miles this morning was 6:58 average pace while keeping it easy, and I am always pumped when my relaxed pace dips under 7:00 (some days it is closer to 8:00; I really try to go by feel). Strava also informed me that the route I did on my second run (4.2 miles) on was "trending faster", so I looked to find out that run was the fastest I'd ever run that route, which I've only ever run on second easy runs.
So, another hill and valley. I once read a quote about running hills that made me laugh: A hill is like a break-up; eventually, you'll get over it. Marathon training is not the top priority in my life, but it is my top leisure pursuit and undeniably a major personal goal. I can't do it all, in training or in life, so I guess I will just wait until they add more hours to the day and I'll be able to come closer.
August 10, 2017
The joy is in the journey, and I am very much enJOYing my miles with friends this week!
August 14, 2017
Last week was my 6th consecutive week of mileage in the 60s! I looked back at my training logs from my Phoenix build, and I had 5 weeks total that were in the 60s, so I have already surpassed that. Provided I can stay healthy, this is very confidence-boosting since I am still 16 weeks out from CIM. This mileage is the highest I've done, although I often have whomp whomp moments when I realize that others who are marathon training are running triple digit mileage! But don't let comparison steal your joy, right?!
August 16, 2017
Today's tempo was a grind, and felt far too much like the Dam to Dam half marathon for my liking! I probably should have adjusted my expectations for the workout based on the weather (71*, dew point of 70*/96% humidity, breezy, storms in the area), but I didn't. I wanted 8 miles at 5:59 or better, but I got 8 miles at 6:07 via 6:09, 6:07, 6:00, 6:05, 6:09, 6:08, 6:15, 6:08 (also no pretty negative split!), and I had to fight for it the whole way. Although it wasn't what I wanted, I was glad to just hang on and to keep all of the miles except for mile 7 within my goal pace range of 5:57-6:10; it was good practice gutting it out when I wasn't feeling it. I was ready to stop the workout at the beginning of mile 4, and at mile 6 I was really done, but I'm not going to quit if I go through rough patches or can't maintain goal pace during races, so this was practice at doing the best I could with what my body had to give today.
I also reminisced on an 8 mile tempo I did in 2010; I remember it well because I could not even hit my goal marathon pace for really any of the miles that day, but a month later I ran a marathon faster than that goal pace. Compared to that workout, this 8 mile tempo at 1 second/mile slower than goal half pace was not that bad (although mile 7 was bordering on marathon goal pace!)! I think my confidence is in a much better place now than it was a couple of months ago, because in spite of this off day I still feel good about my overall trajectory. For awhile, I was fragile enough that one sub-par performance made me feel like I would never run anything good again! I know I have more to give on a long tempo, and when I run my 10 mile tempo I'll get the chance to show it! I am also aiming to appreciate what I got out of this one, which was practice hanging on when not feeling good; lucky for me I hadn't practiced this in my previous 3 tempo workouts.
August 19, 2017
Well, this week contained the previously described non-stellar tempo, then a fantastic long run. I had an 18 miler, which was my first long long run of this training cycle -- I consider 13-16 milers long runs, but not long long runs. It was a base pace long run across the board (no workout or fast finish), with the goal of having most of my miles between 6:57-7:07, or goal marathon pace + 40-50 seconds. My coach told me to think in terms of mode vs. mean on pace, because my first 1-3 miles will probably be slower as I warm up, but then I should try to keep the others miles in that pace range. My go-to easy pace isn't quite that fast (at least not in 70* and 98% humidity), but I knew I could run it, particularly running with Zach, who is faster than me.
I ended up with 18 at 6:57 average (even though I was instructed not to worry about the mean, hah)! My splits were: 7:39, 7:27, 7:10, 7:09, 7:15, 7:07, 6:59, 6:57, 6:53, 6:57, 6:55, 6:49, 6:51, 6:48, 6:39, 6:40, 6:36, 6:30. Although I could feel that the final 4 miles were faster, they were still conversational, and being able to carry on a conversation at 6:30-6:40 is a relatively new thing for me.
I felt very strong, and afterward I realized that if I'd have run 8.2 more miles at an average of 6:38 pace, I could have run a sub-3:00 marathon in training. I got really excited about this, because I believe if I'd fueled I could have done that (this was an intentionally fasted run; I did not fuel before or during aside from nuun in water, which is hydration/electrolytes but not calories). Last summer, I was training for a sub-3:00 marathon as my goal race; currently, I could do it in training on a rolling course. On the other hand, since I'm currently training to run 15 minutes faster, I suppose a sub-3:00 should be fairly easy. Whomp whomp. #neversatisfiedsyndrome Nonetheless, this made me very happy. I also had a 66 mile week (week 7 in the 60s)!
I'm looking forward to testing my fitness in a couple of 10Ks in early September (one will be run un-rested, but the other will be slightly tapered).
August 26, 2017
I had another solid long run today! 17.2 miles at 7:01 average per my watch/6:59 average per Zach's (so clearly I am going with his). My splits were a little more even than last week; after 2 slow beginning miles almost all were 6:50-7:06 (the final mile was 6:47, so we did not fast finish, which is good since I was not supposed to). It was really confidence-boosting because it felt relaxed the whole way and it flew by.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I failed at my track workout on Tuesday - basically I ran one good 1600 m. (5:42) and then quit. I got the chance to re-do it on Thursday, but on tired legs (13 miles with a double on Tuesday, 12 miles in a single on Wednesday). I couldn't hit my goal range of 5:35-5:40 (I did 5:48, 5:44, 5:46 for full miles on the road because I couldn't mentally get myself back to the track either; 3:00 jog recoveries between), but considered it a success that I got back out there and tried.
I need to write a complete post about this, probably titled "If you don't believe you can do something, you're probably right," because I really mentally defeated myself over this workout, twice. A friend told me that it's only failure if you don't learn anything, and I suppose what I learned is that I am not ready for a sub-18 5K - at least not un-rested! I could not have run 3 miles straight at the pace I did these repeats. Otherwise the day confirmed what I already knew: I'm stronger at tempos and long runs than at speed work and 5:4X pace is HARD! 5:55 is fairly sustainable for me, but when I have to drop 10 seconds off of that I am DYING. Whew. I tried not to let this workout get me down too much, and in the end I don't need to be able to run good mile repeats to run a good marathon, but it worries me for my upcoming 10Ks. Luckily I am not trying to run 5:45 pace in them (I need 5:57 to break 37:00 and PR), but it is hard to believe in myself when I can't hit my workout times.
On to the next - still trying to dream big, even on days my legs are sloshed!
|This was how I felt about the mile repeat workout|