My general goal of any year is to hit 1000 miles in the year, and when I took a peek to write my 2015 running year in review I was at 1,226.5 miles, not too shabby! I also had a period of sadly being locked out of my blog so I missed getting in some race recaps and various training insights and epiphanies. In addition to having some fast races to close out the year, perhaps the most significant moment of this year was my decision to hire a coach. We started Dec. 1 and the next six months of running are all about working Coach’s plan. But before we look ahead, some running moments of this year.
My feet are falling heavily. My stride is too short. A small stitch in my side comes and goes. My shoulders are tight and clenched. My breaths feel forced and inconsistent. My pace is all over the place. I used to be good at running!! What happened?? Continue reading
I laid in bed listening to the rain and was excited to get up and run in it for two reasons. One was that it was going to be my first post-partum run sans stroller and sans walking. The other was that I was eager to try out a new jacket from Under Armour designed for the exact purpose of running in the rain. Continue reading
As I enter into my fourth week post-partum I am struggling to find the balance between physically letting my body recover the way it needs and mentally keeping myself from pushing too hard too soon. I’m also trying (obsessing perhaps) to figure out the best way to running and cross-training. Continue reading
At the end of 15 weeks I went out for a three mile run and didn’t pay too much attention to my pace though I could feel that it was slow. I thought for sure I’d average out at 9:30 for that short run. It was an early run, before sunrise, and there is no doubt the morning run is still the way to go (vs running midday). I was pleasantly surprised to find that my average pace for that run was 8:58/mile, just squeaking in below 9 minutes.
My new weekend routine is now that I go for a bike ride on Saturday afternoon while our son naps and then an early long run on Sunday. I like this routine quite a bit. The cycling is helping me train for Tour de Cure in May where I’m really hoping I can hang for 32 miles. The Sunday run is a 6.8 route with a flat stretch until the halfway point where there also happens to be a ranger station along the B&A trail with restrooms. Enough said. The second half of the loop is a perfect hilly mix and for probably any number of reasons is typically faster than my first half. Pregnant or not, I usually need a couple miles to warm up so I inevitably end up with negative splits more often than not. This makes for a very satisfying run.
Slow and Steady
Even though that recent 3 miler was a hair under 9 minutes, I have a feeling that may be the last time that happens for the next 5 months. My long run averaged out at a 9:38/mile pace. I proclaimed a few weeks ago that I wanted to maintain sub-9s for as long as possible, at least on the shorter runs. I now know what “as long as possible” equates to. At 16 weeks pregnant, my new pace is slow and steady. I am hoping, however, that I can still finish the next 10k race in under an hour. At the 6.2 mark on the long run my time was 58:38, so we’ll see. Two more weeks could make a big difference in how I perform, even in the spirit of race day.
I got curious though to compare my distances and paces from this current pregnancy with round one. The biggest difference is that I went into that pregnancy marathon ready and into this one barely half marathon ready but with speed like I’d not had before. In 2011 I finished the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of my first trimester. From there I kept up with 3-6 mile runs until about week 18 but I was averaging 10+ minutes per mile. In comparison, I’m currently only running 2-3 days a week, with those runs also 3-6ish miles (plus 2 days per week spin/cycle and cross-train), but I’m a solid minute faster at the same point in pregnancy than the first time. Just interesting.
And regardless, the point is to stay fit, keep exercising, keep running and keep moving. One week at a time.
The last week of my first trimester was the type of week where whether I was pregnant or not I would’ve been frustrated with my work-outs, or lack thereof. It was a week that started with yet another snowstorm and super cold days; followed by lack of motivation to get up early and do the basement workout; followed by a late event at work that also hindered motivation for a run the next morning. I managed a 30 min cross-training session Monday and a 3 mile treadmill run with a little bit of strength work on Tuesday. I was banking on the weekend to round it all out and a 3 mile run on what was finally a spring day on Saturday got me out of the slump of feeling like I’d ruined any fitness progress for the week. What I’d really been hanging my hat on was the 10k race I’d registered for on Sunday which happened to coincide with a few days past the first week of the second trimester. Continue reading
I spend a lot of my time while running thinking about racing. Even when I’m not training for a specific race, I’m thinking about racing. I think about the “perfect” race. I think about what it would take to win a race (in my age group). I think about races of different distances and set crazy stretch goals for them quickly followed by aggressive goals and truly realistic goals. When I went about thinking about my race plan for 2014 I realized there is probably an art and science to race selection. Continue reading
In March 2011 I ran my third and fastest marathon finishing in 3:45. Weeks after that race I watched the Boston Marathon and started to think about training for a BQ race. I was 10 minutes off from the 30-34 age group qualifying time and the goosebumps I’ve always gotten watching the Boston Marathon started to sync up with an obsession that one day perhaps I could run the race. But I never told anyone that’s what I wanted to do. I hadn’t made the obsession real because I hadn’t said it out loud. And I hadn’t said it out loud because I lacked the confidence that I could actually run a qualifying time. Continue reading
On our flight home from the Cooper River Bridge Run I was still on such a high from my 10k time that I decided to register for a local 10k to see if I could maintain that performance. The next opportunity I could find was the Father’s Day Dawson’s 10k in Severna Park which is a race I’ve wanted to do for a few years now. I hit submit on the registration form and had the June 16 race on my calendar. I also had my eye on a few 5k races, two of which I did last year. The first 5k in June I skipped but weather and timing was looking perfect for the second annual Run Awake 5k…except it was June 15, the day before the 10k. I registered anyway. Continue reading
I went into this year’s Cooper River Bridge Run with a strange combination of feeling cocky about the prospect of running fast and at the same time not feeling confident that I could run fast. In the two weeks I had to really train for speed I lost the opportunity due to being sick one week and not focused the other. I was hopeful that all the magic of race day would help me hit the 7:30 pace I was targeting. Not only did race day magic have an effect but so did a little ‘tough love’ coaching from my husband, friendly competition with my best friend and sheer determination. I pulled off a 7:20 pace for a 10K PR of 45:36!! Continue reading