Week 3 of 15 is in the books. This week saw a little bit bigger bump up in miles to 34. And the best news to report is that most of my running this week was entirely pain free. I had some hammy niggle thingy going on mid-week but my chiro appointment easily took care of it. For this week’s long run workout, I had absolutely no pain, which I had to remind myself of this fact when I struggled with focusing.
Speaking of focusing, during this week’s track workout, I had a little aha moment. On my last of three mile repeats, I noticed this desire to want to slow down because I felt annoyed by the discomfort. I originally fell in love with running because it felt good. It helped me to feel relaxed and generally happy. So whenever running started to feel discomforting, it was always easier to slow down. But if I really want to take my running to the next level, I’m going to have to put up with discomfort. The ability to focus and push through pain is what makes a runner a competitor.
Marinating on this insight over the next few days, I realized that there are a lot of other things I “slow down” from when it brings discomfort (i.e. making an important phone call, meeting new people or meeting up with people in general, etc.). Such activities increase my anxiety for any number of reasons (fear of stumbling over my words, fear of not knowing what to say) and so discomfort sets in. As a result, I end up feeling like I’d rather not do the said activity because that would make the discomfort go away. Anxiety is at the root of this issue in both running and life. And I think a lot of it stems from being a closet perfectionist. If it’s not going to go perfect, why attempt it at all?
The solution? Just do it. (Thanks, Nike). Every time I just do it instead of “slowing down” I find that I am very pleased with the results. Not only does everything work out fine but I leave with an even better feeling than that of slowing down.
Monday: 4 miles outdoors at a steady pace (8:50s) with core work after the run.
Tuesday: 5 miles with 3 x mile intervals at 10k pace with 1 minute rest. My suggested pace was 7:20. When I saw this, I thought it would be a piece of cake. But after the first repeat, one minute sure went by fast! I ran 7:18, 7:16, and 7:20. I loved this workout. The short rest was something I have not experimented with in the past. It felt like it worked out an entirely different oxygen system.
Wednesday: 6 miles with leg work after the run. I felt a bit sluggy on this one and it was kind of cold out which made me cranky.
Thursday: 4 miles easy/steady after chiro appointment. Completely pain free and happy.
Friday: Off. First day off from any type of cardio activity in over 15 days. I did do some core work but for the most part just enjoyed the relaxation.
Saturday: 12.1 mile long run with 11.1 miles at 8:09 pace (marathon pace + 10-15 seconds). This was the second week in a row where I got up early on a Saturday. Except this time, I had to get up at 6am and start by 7am due to my morning schedule. Thankfully it wasn’t too cold. Overall, I was very happy with this workout. It was an improvement from my last marathon-paced long run of 7 miles at 8:16 pace. It also allowed me to work on my focusing game.
Sunday: 3 miles easy and upper body strength training. I also did an hour on the stationary bike in the evening.
Total: 34.1 miles running, 1 hour cross training