Happy Sunday! As promised, I'm going to sit down on Sundays and write down my training log from the week leading up to 3M for several reasons. One, I won't slack on my own training knowing that I need to be accountable. Two, I hope that it helps others who are starting their progress towards a race goal!
Total Weekly Mileage: 42.3 miles
5 easy miles
The goal of this entire week was to work to maintain my mileage, so I kept the start of the week easy. Kept the pace nice and slow and relaxed (8:41).
Dane's Body Shop
I took the 11:45 class at Hyde Park, which involved a pyramid of kettle bell swings, lawnmower rows, and overhead squats. Also involved a good deal of running, so I might have actually gotten 6 for the day, but didn't claim it on my training log.
If I haven't said it enough - strength training is the key to staying healthy. This workout especially was posterior chain heavy and kettlebell swings are SUCH a great way to keep those glutes firing!
Slightly uptempo easy run through the east side, post client. Cooler morning led to slightly faster than desired pace (8:39), but worked on staying relaxed. Another easy mileage building day.
Medium Long Run Day - 13 miles
One thing I've learned that works well for me is breaking up some of my "longer" days into shorter runs. This was one of the days that I broke up.
AM Run - 6 miles with Brittany (9:42 pace) and some pickups, 1 mile after.
Second AM Run - 6 miles with Becky, easy pace (9:03).
Uptempo half marathon workout prep. I just wanted to stretch my legs a bit after being good all week and not running fast and the temps felt so good. Legs felt light and easy and rolled through the hills easily. (8:18 pace)
Shiner Half Marathon progression. This was a two-fold workout for me. I wanted to put down a solid effort for a fitness check. I haven't ran a road race since I was in Banff in June, so I wasn't sure what I had in my legs. Secondly, I wanted to try to run as progressively as possible. Progression has never been something I'm good at. I like to find a pace, settle in, and sit there. I also have a bad habit of not pushing as hard as I could along the whole course if I know that I need to wait to increase my pace.
Overall, if I had to rate myself, I give myself a B.
The Shiner course was incredibly hilly and that was something that I had forgotten about. The race also had a 8:30am start time and a temp of 75, so not ideal conditions. I wanted to start out at approximately marathon pace (7:55-8:00) + 30 seconds for the first 10k and work to get down to as close to half marathon pace as I could.
So, for the first 10k, I'll give myself a solid A. I did what I wanted, told myself to be patient, and just settled into a pace that didn't feel overly difficult.
Miles 6-9 were just a mental nightmare. Grade: C- The road seemed to stretch out forever and it was VERY hilly (Strava does NOT give me credit for the rolling hills, that's for sure!). I wanted to pick it up, but it was hard to do so with big gusts of wind in my face, aid stations that didn't have volunteers ready with water, and hills that seemed unrelenting. At some point (mile 6-7), we hit a gravel jeep road that had chunky rock that chewed up my stride and made me slow down. Mentally, I just checked out and stopped trying to push.
I tried to remember the course in prior years and couldn't figure out where I was, other than I knew that the backside of the course was supposed to be downhill. I tried to work on some of mantras that I had literally just given my friends and fellow runners for the Philly Marathon and tried to settle into a good pace. Nothing felt bad, nothing was wrong. I was simply losing my mental game. Plus it was getting HOT. About mile 7, I looked down at my watch as the sun was coming out overhead, to denote the time that I started to die. I wanted to document the EXACT time that I acknowledged the sun.
As we rounded back towards the start line, I realized that I just had the choppy part of the park remaining and then we'd break back out into the neighborhoods. The park presented an interesting challenge because the roadway suddenly turned into bike paths and the cluster of people I was with, including one guy + stroller, got squeezed. Between the winding paths and tight running lanes of the park, I slowed more than I wanted to, again. Not to mention, as you rose out of the park, you hit a steep little hill that stopped a few people I was with in their tracks.
As I rounded the top of the hill, I passed three or four women who I had been steadily reeling in. I think that set off my inner competition because as I crested the hill, the mental funk I had been in was shaken, and I was ready to run again. As I rounded the final corner out of the park, I kicked it up a notch and was amazed at how easy that felt.
This is why progressive workouts for me are so hard. I spent most of the middle chunk of the race waiting for the perfect time, or telling myself that I could start the descent in one more mile, when I had the speed in my legs all along. This by no means was an A-race or goal-anything, but as I closed out mile 12 at 8:16 pace, I knew that I could have been pushing much sooner than that.
Mile 12 was a steady mile of what I like to call "fishing." I started picking people in front of me, catching them, and then picking another person to chase. It works pretty damn well and I was lost in the rhythm of it.
My goal for the final mile was to close out at half marathon goal pace (or, at the start, as close to as my effort would allow). Mile 13 was the easiest mile by far and I would like to thank the guy who didn't want to be passed by a girl. Probably easily one of my biggest pet peeves in racing is when someone decides to pick up their pace to match yours for the SOLE purpose of not allowing you to pass.
That's fine because it became MY SOLE mission to pass you, sir. Spoiler: I did. And, in doing so, clocked my 7:26 final mile. Smooth. Felt so easy.
I came in at 1:51, which I was happy with. I did better than at Banff and Grand Teton, even though I was at elevation for those races. I felt like I was in "better" shape then, so this attempt was motivational in that sense. It was also very warm at 75F and I'm still dealing with racing and pushing myself in the heat after my attempt at The Ranch, which has definitely left me with racing PTSD. Seriously, I think this was a thing.
It also pointed out a bunch of weaknesses that I know that I need to work on. It's time to get sharper on my racing mindset and push harder when I don't want to. Andddd let's do some progression! Time to get out of my comfort zone!
Recovery & Self-Care
Training isn't going to work if you don't take some time to yourself. Stayed on top of foam rolling and stretching, although need to get some more strength workouts in next week. Also, attempted to get a massage, but didn't realize I booked it for the following week, so definitely going to get some massage therapy in this week.
Goals for next week:
- Build mileage
- Self-care time with massage
- Add in more strength workouts
- Eat lots of Thanksgiving food