summaries and conclusions

So, I haven’t posted in a few days (been a little distracted by holiday preparations and having kiddos home from school already) and now I’m finding myself wanting to say sooo much, but feeling very disorganized with my thoughts and not really sure what to hone in on.

In summarizing my last few runs, I have come to some conclusions ….

Last week on Wednesday night I did a track workout of 9×400 at a too fast (for me) pace.  Clocking in each repeat averaging a 5:50/mile pace for over 2 miles, I knew even in the moment that this was not the smartest decision.  But I didn’t slow down.  I think the reason was that I was feeling good and I wanted to prove something to myself.  It boosted my confidence to feel as good as I did at that pace.  But I paid for it.  Two days later I found myself with delayed onset muscle soreness.

Live and learn.

Thursday was a scheduled rest day.  Friday I ran 6 miles “easy” while pushing both boys in the double stroller.  There is nothing easy about that, I know, but I ran a 10-minute mile pace the whole way and felt relaxed and grateful to be running outside with my kids rather than on a treadmill indoors.

When I woke up on Saturday morning my legs were still sore and I had a long run to do.  I was meeting one of my very best friends, Bethany, for 14 miles.  Bethany and I have known each other our ENTIRE lives.  We grew up together and do not know what life is like without each other, though we have lived far apart from one another for most of our lives.  Bethany is currently living in Key West but her parents live in the DC area, so she was here for the weekend and we were so excited to run together.  She is training for her second marathon (Disney) and is targeting a 3:30 finish.  This will be her second marathon ever.  She ran her first marathon last year and finished in 3:40, qualifying for Boston — amazing amazing AMAZING.  I do not know many people who BQ in their first ever marathon.  But Bethany did.


Anyway, I was sooo excited to run with one of my very favorite people on the planet, who I hardly ever get to see.  Two hours alone with a dear friend, with no interruptions, doing something you share a passion for … that is pretty much my idea of a perfect morning.

Friends for LIFE … still as youthful as ever  

The miles ticked by and we were both surprised by how far we had gone each time we looked at our watches.  We were running a little slower than I think both of us were expecting going into the run, but with my muscle soreness and Bethany recovering from shin splints, we were both ok with it.  We were having a really beautiful run together and pace just didn’t really matter at all.  By the end of 14 miles we averaged a 9:13 pace/mile and were both smiling ear-to-ear when we finished.

I am so thankful for that run, and the miles we shared.  I cannot wait to do it again.

Sunday was run club!  We had 21 people this week, plus me and Jodi (this makes me sooo happy).  It was a beautiful morning for a recovery run.  I was so excited to finally get to meet Jessica Karazcia in person (she writes the blog Zero to Fifty).  Jessica really inspires me.  She has worked so hard and seen it pay off in so many ways.  We got to run 4.44 miles together on Sunday – chatting and smiling the whole way.  Once again, the miles ticked by and my muscle soreness didn’t bother me too much.

Jess & Jess

My total mileage for last week was 39.75 miles, including some serious speed work on Wednesday.  It was no wonder that my legs were tired.  This mileage isn’t huge for me in the grand scheme of things, I plan to peak close to 65 during this training cycle, but it was a lot for my second week of training after taking most of the month of November off.  I was a bit too eager to get going and my muscles were talking to me.

Yesterday I was planning to run for an hour, but instead I went to see Dr. Wong just to have things checked out as I dive into this next training cycle.  When I was training for MCM I saw him once a month, no matter what.  It worked for me and I plan to do that again this time around.  Thank goodness my muscle soreness is just that – soreness – no injury, no strains or pulls or anything.  I am lucky.

Today I hopped on the treadmill for 4 easy paced miles and tomorrow I’m heading back to the track.  My workout tomorrow night is 8×800.  I am going to run them at the right pace, which will NOT be a sub-6:00 mile even if I feel good at that speed.  I have a 16 miler around the corner this weekend and I want to feel ready for it.

Marathon training requires self control and targeting the right paces, not just the fast paces.  I need to remember this, especially when I’m on the track.  I get really excited out there and lose site of the big picture.  I don’t want to make this mistake again.  I need to be smarter than that.

Can anyone else out there relate to this?  Do you ever run faster than you should for a specific workout?  How do you determine what the right pace is for you?  I use race times and McMillan to figure it out.

4 thoughts on “summaries and conclusions

  1. It's fantastic that you CAN do those paces for 400's, but I agree– it was probably too fast for a mid-week workout. One of my friends, Cristina, just wrote a great blog post about having self control in workouts. She said that she always just wants to go as fast as she can, but she now realizes that she needs to save that for race day. Glad your training is going so well!

  2. I can SO relate to this! Last fall my friends and I started running MP in the middle of our long runs…up to 10 miles worth. Every single time we got carried away and ran much faster than MP. By the end of that training cycle, my legs were beat and I think even w/ the taper, never recovered as they should have. Lesson learned!

  3. I really, really, really try to run by effort. I listen to my body, and I know when to back off. I also have a coach who specifically recommends paces for me for my different workouts. I shoot for his goals and if I feel a little faster, I go for it. But not a whole lot faster. I keep within a 5-10 second range. Gotta be smart about the speed!

  4. Love this post!!

    I had such a hard time pacing myself last week at the track. Since I'm new to speed work, and really running in general, it was really difficult for me to determine what my T/AC pace was and to stick with it throughout the entire lap. I skipped tonight because of the rain (I've had the most annoying/nagging stuffy nose for 2 weeks and didn't want to make it worse), but I can't wait to get back out there and try again.

    Otherwise, I've been excellent about pacing myself on easy runs. I finally learned what my comfortable pace is and how to stay there. I've been finishing my easy runs feeling like I could keep going which is a great change. It feels like a HUGE milestone for this beginner 🙂

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