December 31, 2016

6:xx, the mark of the beast

6:xx. A sub-7 pace. I have no idea why I have such a mental block about this. Maybe because the only time I run sub-7's is for 5ks  or speed workouts. Maybe it's because the only time I ran sub-7's for longer than 3.1 miles was the time during Ragnar Relay when it was my last leg that was mostly downhill, when I was probably in the best running shape I've ever been in. Either way, in two weeks I'm going to attempt to run a 10k at a sub-7 pace, and it's freaking me out.

To back up, I've scrapped the 3M Half in Austin on January 22 in favor of going to see my sister in Florida before she gets deployed. Not wanting all my training to go to waste, I found a race down there on the 14th, the Pensacola Beach Run. Yes, there is a half marathon option, but I was going to be pushing it to run a PR on the 22nd, so to lose a week of training would be needlessly killing my body.

So the new plan is race the 10k where I'm all but guaranteed a new PR. My old PR is pre-baby but post-fall off the running wagon so I'm sort of guessing at what to shoot for time-wise. For a little guidance, I used the McMillan Running Calculator to predict what my 10k pace would be IF I was in half marathon PR shape, and it's telling me I should be able to run a 43:13 (a 6:57 pace). It's a stretch to think that I'm in PR shape, having only been running consistently for four months, barely cracking 30 miles per week, having not slept through the night in over 20 months, nursing a toddler, etc. etc. And seriously, it sounds impossible to me to hold a 6:57 pace for 6.2 miles. Like IMPOSSIBLE.

In attempt to at least *try* to convince my mind/body to do this, I ran a workout last week that was 6 x 1 mile at 10k pace with 4 min jog recovery and (knock on all the wood) it went amazingly well. Mind you it was on the treadmill, but it seriously was getting easier with each repeat. I read somewhere that you can expect to run 5-6 seconds per mile faster during a race than you run during training runs (makes sense, adrenaline and all) so there is hope!

Running highlights the past few weeks:
1. Having a Run Streak of 22 days, before I broke it when Ulla got the stomach flu. So. Much. Vom.

2. Outdoor ten miler on Christmas Eve on a new route I found. LOVED it.
snowy run

 3. Getting a new Garmin for Christmas from my dad! I was so, so surprised.  I'm still getting used to all the bells and whistles. It's a big upgrade from my current Garmin (I don't even know the model, it's been discontinued for years). I feel so fancy!
Garmin Forerunner 235

More to come in 2017. Happy New Year, kids. Stay safe, stay smart. :)

December 12, 2016

streaking and kara goucher

Truth: I've never streaked before. Streaking, as in run streak. (Naked streaking has been checked off my bucket list if you count that time I skinny dipped in the Le Sueur public pool and hightailed it back to the car.)

Now, thanks to the Runner's World Run Streak challenge, I am on Day 19 of a Run Streak. I had been running five days a week for training, so I thought "what's two more?" and jumped in. Most days, the hardest part of running is just getting out the door and making the time, and the Run Streak provides a little extra motivation.

Training has been going well, though I just switched up my training plan from Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half Marathon II (whew!) to Kara Goucher's 10 week plan.  Because KARA. And not to be a running snob, but I feel like I'm a little past Hal Higdon. After my giant running break with no real training, I kind of felt like I needed to start over. Now, after a few solid months under my feet, I'm feeling good and more like a runner again.

Running highlights these past few weeks:
1. Running a 10k on the treadmill that was roughly 30 seconds off my real-life-outdoor-race-10k-PR that I set back in 2013. Pre-baby. I feel like this puts me in a decent position for Austin in January.
2. Building back up to nearly 30 miles per week and NOT getting injured! It's been slow process but I'm glad I didn't rush it.

Because it's December in MN, finding road races (or even running outside) can be challenging, so I'm a little nervous about the majority of training being done on the treadmill but c'est la vie. 

And if I think about the actual chances that I'll run a real PR (which is anything under 1:36:25), I begin to question why I even run and feel like never getting up from the couch.

So for now I'll try to shut off my brain and take it one day and one workout at a time.