BayLeaf’s Training Log: 8.27.18 – 9.16.18

A double-header! And my last training log for a little while, as I continue to navigate and juggle full-time momming with part-time freelancing and running. In this log you’ll see my Fifth Ave Mile mini race report. It was my post-baby goal, just a year after my son was born. 

Monday, August 27
5.75 miles, 8:37 average
The start of mile training taper. Easy and relaxed.

Tuesday, August 28
3 miles, 8:20 average
Temps were sweltering and I wasn’t able to get out until almost 11 a.m. Took things really slowly.

Wednesday, August 29
5 miles, 10 min Tempo+6x30s, 8:24 average
Ran this tempo on the roads with a friend and she kept me to a 6:40 pace, which felt great!

Friday, August 31
6 miles, 8:27 average
Easy with friends.

Saturday, September 1
4.85 miles, 10 min Tempo+4×400 at Mile, 7:50 average
My last speed sessions before the mile. I ran the tempo on the track because that’s way easier(!) and it was a nice lead-in to the 400s. Maintained a comfortable sub-7 tempo pace and then really nailed the 400s.

81, 81, 81, 81

(Targeting 82s for a 5:30 pace)

Sunday, September 2
5 miles, 8:23 average
I was in Hudson, NY for a wedding and it was nice to have a change of scenery.

Tuesday, September 4
5.5 miles, 2×5 min Tempo+6×30, 8:18 average
Well, I love splitting tempo runs up! I did the first half on the roads and the second have on the track, with the strides on a side street.

Wednesday, September 5
6 miles, 4xStrides, 8:26 average
Ran 5.5 miles and added four strides per coach’s orders for a total of six.

Wednesday, September 5
2.5 miles, 10:00 average
Easy strollering to and from the farmer’s market.

Friday, September 8
3 miles, 8:54 average
Easy shakeout in prep for the weekend mile.

Sunday, September 9
1 mile, 5:33
Nausea times a million. We had a wedding Saturday night, and thank heavens for the rain…it was an outdoor backyard wedding, which meant we could leave a little early without feeling too guilty. We had to get up a 4 a.m. on race day and take our little dude out of his comfy crib to drive 90 minutes to NYC so he could watch Mom run really fast.

When I set this postpartum goal, I had three goals: 1. Break 6 minutes, which I’d done four times prior to having a baby. Five if you count my time trial from earlier this summer. 2. PR: 5:36 or better. 3. Run a 5:30.

My pie-in-the-sky goal of 5:30 threw me off my game, I think. I got it in my head that that was the time to run, even though I have never set a specific time goal for the Fifth Ave Mile. It’s always been, do better than last year. So 5:30 got in my head, and when I crossed the finish line, my first feeling was disappointment. I yelled negative F-word, not like Shalane’s positive F-word.

It wasn’t ideal that we got up at 4 a.m. and then drove for 90 minutes. Or that I didn’t have a real warmup. Or that I wasn’t on the front line (I was about two rows back). Or that the start was extremely slow and crowded thanks to people who should have been farther back. The ground was slick with rain. These aren’t excuses. These are realities. Conditions that affect a race performance.

I ran the first quarter in 77 seconds. Fast, but not break-the-bank fast. I hit halfway in 2:47, three seconds too slow, but two seconds faster than my 800 time trial from a few weeks back. At 3/4, I told myself there was nothing to save myself for and to just go. At 1500 meters, the finish line was in clear view. I remember someone saying the week before the race, “You can see the finish line for a long time and that messes with you.” I’d done this race six times before. I knew that, yet those words stuck with me, and I think they did mess with me. I churned my legs as fast as they could go.

The entire race I felt like I was out of my own body. I didn’t feel my body for most of the race. It didn’t hurt. It didn’t feel good. It was something I’d never experienced before. Normally, for this race, I check my splits every five blocks (a quarter mile). I didn’t this time. I don’t know why. I was off my game.

I crossed the line, hit my watch, cursed: 5:33.

I was upset. A friend told me, “Aw I’m sorry.” And then it hit me. Sorry? I ran a 5:33 mile 12 months and three weeks after having a baby. That’s a four-second PR from two years ago when I was in the best shape of my life, until now, apparently. I got 5:30 stuck in my head, when the goal should have been, “faster than last time. Faster than 5:36.” Once I put this into perspective, I was no longer disappointed. I was elated. 5:33! 5:33!

To top it off, I got to hug my kiddo at the finish line. And give him my postrun bagel.

Runner's World editor by day, mom by night (and day, let's be honest). Sub-20 5K, seven-time marathoner, track-workout lover. Always in search of a great burger.

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