Holy crap, how are we already into week 4 of the training program. An entire month of training is under my belt and I’m not quite sure how to feel about it.
These last few weeks I have definitely seen some serious gains in my running but I’m still not convinced that it isn’t all because the weather has cooled off a bit. At what point can I sit back and say to myself “Your training is paying off, you are getting faster.” I think all of us runners have a hard time believing in our accomplishments because so many times other factors have destroyed our runs.
Let me explain: On race day, so many factors go into your performance. The weather of course is one of the biggest factors. Just a 10 degree difference in weather can slow your pace down. Your digestive system and everything that you have eaten & drank in the last 48 hours play a huge key in how you’ll perform. The amount of sleep you were able to get the days leading up to the race will also play an important role in how you perform. Although some of these factors are manageable from a runners standpoint, some of them are not. So when we have a bad race it can be any combination of those factors.
Thus, when I have a good run or a good race, it’s hard for me to not look at those factors and think that they are the base of my good run and not my body’s potential performance. Maybe I just need to cut myself some slack, like most runners, and just enjoy when the running gets good, regardless of why it’s getting good. I know I’m putting in the training so I’ll just pat myself on the back a little and give my calves an extra massage tonight as a thank you for performing well.
So here is a look at my week 4 of training:
Monday: I have a husband at home with the man cold. What was originally supposed to be a day that I had my husband home from work so I could get an early morning track workout in with Lana turned into a day where I had three babies at home, if you know what I mean. Any woman can tell you that a man cold is equivalent to him thinking he is about to be six feet under. (Honey if you’re reading this, I know your tum tum hurt and you weren’t exaggerating how much pain you were in.) So once I got the babies off to bed, I managed to sneak out for a 4 mile run. I did a 1 mile warm up, 2 miles medium effort tempo, and 1 mile cool down. Splits looked like ( 8:26, 7:30, 7:23, 8:11). I haven’t fully decided what pace I want to aim for at the half marathon. It’s been so long since I’ve run a half (not pregnant) that I don’t really know where to gauge my ability. Right now my long runs are already setting me up for a PR but I know that my long run pace is slower than what I’m capable of. As of right now I’m going to say 7:35-7:45 pace so I’m happy that I can at least say I managed two miles at goal half marathon pace.
Tuesday: Cross training day. I hit the spin bike for about 20 minutes and my legs were jello. I forgot how hard spinning is and how amazing it makes your legs feel. After the sea legs went away, I hit the weights. I did squats, sumo squats, lunges, and dead lifts with the bar. Since I’ve been slacking on weight training, I only did 10 reps x 3 sets of each exercise. After that I finished off with some stretching particularly for my calves and hamstrings since I’ve been experiencing a tight right hammy.
Wednesday: Fleet Feet night!! This week we headed to a park to run some fartleks. We did a nice easy run warm-up there. Sandy gave us instructions to run the block. So if you think of it as a rectangle, we ran the shorter sides fast at a 7 or 8 effort and the longer sides were where we slowed down. I ran with Josh so I had someone motivating me and pushing me around my pace. I used my watch to check my “laps” to see what speed we were hitting our fartleks at and I was averaging around a 5:30-5:40 pace for them. We ended up with around 2.3 miles for the speed work. We ran back to the store as a nice slow cool down.
Thursday: Rest day. On the plan was 3 miles but the right hamstring is telling me to take it easy and just foam roll and stretch. Friday’s plan was a rest day so I just switched up the days here.
Friday: Some days you just need to run. You’re crabby and everything pisses you off. I legit yelled at my husband because he got my sub order wrong. Like, I was super mad about it. Granted, he always gets my food order wrong, but it’s just a meal. Yet I barely spoke to him during dinner because I was so mad he forgot my lettuce, tomato, and ranch. For fu*ks sake, was I really this upset over some condiments? So as soon as I finished up dinner, I just put on my watch and ran. I ended up doing a 6.2 mile run averaging around 8:15 pace. This was comfortable for me and I was lip-syncing along to my music the whole way. About one mile in I thought to myself “why are you so angry over a sub? That’s silly.” Needless to say, when I got home, I kissed my husband and apologized for being a hangry jerk. Running can help clear the mind and push off all the stress so you can see clearly.
Saturday: Fleet Feet run of 5.5 miles. My pace group this week was Josh, myself, and Craig. We headed out in hopes to average 8:15-8:20 pace on the beautiful trails in Summerville. We took off a little fast but we honed in and ended up with an average pace of 8:20 on the dot. It was a little hotter this week than last and the humidity was crazy but we pushed through and had a solid run.
Sunday: Long run Sunday was actually lonely run Sunday. I was missing my training partner hard and had to do 10 miles all alone. Those 10 miles felt so much harder than the 9 the week before because I didn’t have Lana to chat to and forget about how much running can suck. I was up all night with the baby and overslept more than I would have liked. I knew it was going to be hotter than last week so I wanted to get out the door by 6am and I eventually found myself hitting the start button on my garmin just shy of 7am. Oh well. The clouds kept the sun away but the heat and humidity were a true test. I kept with our usual route just adding in an extra mile. At mile 6 I was happily greeted by a runner friend, Jennifer, who was out for a run as well. I stopped and took a break to chat with her a little bit and that gave my body enough of a rest to push along. The middle miles of this run were really, really hard. If I hadn’t been so far away from home, I may have stopped. I ended up keeping the average pace the same as last week at 8:18 which makes me happy for two reasons. 1. I added on an extra mile and 2. It was hotter and much more humid.
Overall: I’m continuing to try and build up my mileage while playing around with fuel on my long runs. I’m barely hitting 30 miles per week and I know I need much more than that for marathon training. I have a race next weekend that I’m pretty excited for because we’re taking the kids and hitting up a new beach afterwards. Fun stuff!