When I registered for my first half marathon, I was once again committed to a plan, this time through Runner's World's Smart Coach app. I missed few, if any, of the scheduled runs, and I had a fantastic race. The power of the plan eluded me during my marathon training, though. Despite having only three scheduled runs per week, I regularly missed at least one of them. That, combined with missing a few weeks of training due to Achilles tendonitis, led to a less than stellar first marathon.
The Hunger Games during the Super Bowl and got hooked on the series. I read the first one in a couple of days, and it didn't really cause me any problems.
Tuesday: 2 miles @ 10:50 pace. Because I didn't get home from N's volleyball practice until 11:30 Monday night, I didn't manage to get up before work to run. That meant going out when I got home from class at about 9:15. Thank goodness it was only 2 miles...and for the people who've mentioned such short runs in ultra training, the first three weeks are basically base-building, so from here on out I only have one 2-mile run a week. (whimper). I took it easy since between the dark and the snow flurries whipping in my face I didn't have great visiblity.
Wednesday: 2 miles @ 9:09 pace. I managed to run this right after getting home from work (night class was cancelled...yea!). One thing that made me sad about marathon training was that I lost all of my "speed" because of my focus on just getting in the miles, so I'm trying to fit in at least one run a week where I push my pace more. Definitely not an easy pace for me to maintain, but it felt good to see the numbers at the end. Up late that night finishing a paper for class.
Thursday: 4 miles @ 10:05 pace. Another nighttime run. These are such a pain because I have to get supper on the table early enough for J to get to cub scouts, and then wait long enough for my food to hopefully settle. I tried to run this like a temp run; splits were 10:00, 9:27, 9:10, 11:43 (where the chili...and enchiladas...and fresh salsa...I'd been eating the past two days all ganged up on me).
Fortunately (for the reader in me), D dropped off his copy of the second Hunger Games book. Unfortunately (for the runner in me), it was really good. I started reading it Thursday night, but I really got into it Friday night and ended up finishing it at 2 a.m. Saturday morning. Which would be just fine...if I didn't have to get up at 6 to meet friends for a run.
|I did not look quite this perky in the morning.|
Seems like all winter long I've been
|Pre-run with Pat and Gary|
Photo credit: Jim Donohue
The only saving grace was that the trails sheltered us from the worst of the wind, so once we got going it wasn't awful. I had some bike friends out on a road ride, and I don't know how they did it. They're way tougher than me!
|Running through the (barely) snowy woods|
|Not a day you want wet feet!|
|At this point in the run I was still smiling|
|More wild running|
By the time we were back at the cars, we had over 12 miles. I had a brief temptation to run a little longer and make it a half marathon distance, but then I remembered it hurt to move. Instead, I apologized to the guys again for being such lousy company, grabbed a coffee, and headed home so I could shower before the Pinewood Derby. (Where, incidentally, J took 2nd, 1st, and 1st in his heats but didn't qualify for districts, which in my opinion is the perfect result).
After Saturday's miserable run, I was not looking forward to the scheduled 8 for Sunday. I did get to sleep in a little before going to church to hear Scott Rigsby speak.
|Photo credit: http://www.mytropicalescape.com/images/scott2.jpg|
Due to going to church, finishing the last Hunger Games book, and attending one of J's things at church, I didn't get to leave for my run until about 4:00. I'd been dreading it all day long. I just felt exhausted. Not sleepy, but like gravity was working double on me, and eight miles seemed almost insurmountable. Instead of heading out for 8 miles, I decided to mentally break it up into 4 miles, then 2 miles, then 2 miles. On one hand, it was a mental trick, but I also gave myself the out of quitting the run at any of those points.
Though it was much warmer (a balmy 30) than Saturday, it felt awfully cold setting out. Like always, the first mile or so was a drag, but then I settled in and the run felt ok. I had a GU at 4 miles, and it wasn't so bad knowing that I only "had" to go two more miles.
Sunday: 8 miles @ 12:18 pace
I'm a little nervous looking ahead at this next week's plan. I add on 6 miles to my weekly mileage, which seems a little high, but I'll just see how it goes and give myself a break if I need one. Maybe this will be the week I don't hit all the miles. It has to happen at some point. The really exciting part (heavy on the sarcasm) is that I'll be in Chicago this coming weekend, and depending on my son's volleyball schedule, I may be stuck running Saturday's 14 and Sunday's 8 on the hotel treadmill. I did 14 on a TM last year for the same reason, and I'm not looking forward to repeating the experience. On the other hand, it wasn't as bad as 62 miles on a trainer!
Chicago folks, let me know if you'd be interested in meeting up! We're staying in Burr Ridge Friday and Saturday nights. Of course, I'll be working around my son's volleyball, but I'd love to meet some of you in person if it works out. :)