The past week was the first down week of this training cycle. It was a pretty uneventful week. However, there was one good workout and not because I effortlessly hit my times but because it tested me. On Wednesday, the little workout was 3 miles at 7:30 pace. 7:30 pace always seems to psych me out even though I’ve run a half marathon at that pace. In fact, every time I see 7:30s, I think how did I run 13.1 at that pace? It’s a crutch of mine, just like breaking 22 minutes in the 5k was for me a few summers ago.
This week had some warmer days and Wednesday happened to be one of them so I had that going for me. I ran it on a rolling course to mimic race conditions. I came through the first mile in 7:35. It felt kind of fast so I struggled mentally on the next mile wondering, am I in shape enough to get a little a faster or even keep this up? Oh man, it seems like it’s getting harder! I struggled to an even slower 7:46 second mile. As I began the third, I put aside all doubt and negativity and told myself to just accept what I was feeling, to not try to judge my fitness based on the first two miles. This helped tremendously. I finished with a 7:36 and averaged 7:39 for the run. Sure, it was about 9 seconds off the requested pace but the biggest takeaway was worth it: No matter what the pace, I tend to let the first mile or two determine the rest of the run. From now on, I will try to honor the discomfort of early miles and trust that I will eventually adjust.
Monday: 4 miles easy at night with James and Chris.
Tuesday: 3 miles easy and core work.
Wednesday: 5 miles with 3 miles at 7:39 pace and leg work after the run.
Thursday: 4 miles easy.
Friday: 1 hour on the stationary bike and core work.
Saturday: 10 miles easy with James and Chris. I also discovered that running with them plays some tricks on me mentally. On paper, they are a worlds faster than me but when we do easy runs, the pace is always really easy, we’re talking 9:30s, sometimes even slower than 10s on really sluggy days. Yet, if I feel any discomfort, I automatically attribute it to running with them, they’re out of my league, slow down, etc. It was nice to work on this little mental game three times this week with them!
Sunday: 3 miles easy and some upper body strength work including pull up drills on a fence because I wasn’t near the gym.
Total: 29 miles running, 1 hour cross training.