My Fastest 20

 

Yesterday, I ran my longest long run in preparation for the Cowtown Marathon next month. Since my last marathon, I have evaluated what I need to change in my training. I have some speed (in my age group) at the 5k and 10k level, and I have become more efficient at maintaining a faster pace in the half marathon. I also have endurance. I have completed three marathons in a little over a year. I just need to get the two (speed and endurance) together.

 

 

Since I only had a little over two months between marathons, I pulled together my own training plan to work on my speed and distance together. Yesterday, I tried a different tactic for my long run. I also might add that I decided to do this about 10 minutes before my run.

 

The temperatures were warmer than they have been (55-60s), and it was sunny. I have added electrolyte tablets to my water to work on my hydration, and I also had some carbs with added sodium. Dehydration was not going to be my problem. My plan was to tackle the mental aspect.

 

My goal time for the Cowtown Marathon is 4:15, which is a 9:43 pace. Yesterday, I ran the first 5 miles at 9:55 pace, the second 5 miles were 9:50, the third quarter was done at a 9:45 pace. For miles 15-19, I ran about 9:40, and the last mile was about 9:32. Overall, my pace averaged out to about 9:47. That was a confidence builder I needed, especially with the warmer temperatures. Usually for runs over 13 miles, I end up gradually slowing my pace. Not this time. It helped that I only looked at my pace and distance in 5 mile increments. It was more manageable that way. I wasn’t discouraged by the total amount, I just took it five miles at a time.

 

 

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I know there’s a 4:15 marathon in me. I just need the chance to prove it to myself. February 24th will be that day.

What mental tricks work for you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Driven

I don’t know if it’s a new year, the colder temperatures, or the desire to run a marathon time I know I’m capable of, but my running motivation has been high in the last few weeks. After my disappointing time in the Dallas marathon, I took a couple of weeks to ease back into training, working a plan and goals for the next race.

The desire to go for a run has never been an issue for me. Running is my self-esteem boost, aids my lack of discipline in the food area, and releases my creative energy. Many blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts, and story ideas have been formed in the middle of a run.

I run five times a week, cross train once a week on the stationary bike, and work my core twice a week. I am reading whatever I can get my hands to ensure a more successful marathon in February. With a friend of mine, we were discussing our different training goals, and I talked about how I was working on speed with distance during long runs. She said, “You’re very driven.”

I guess that’s what keeps pushing me to want to do better. I am constantly changing my goals and plans in my progression as a runner. I find new challenges to keep me going, new races to break up the monotony of training schedules, and ideas to push myself to be a better runner, a better wife, a better parent, and in turn a better person.

But there’s still one area where I’m seeming to lack discipline. I did well for a week or so, and now I’ve teetered off the edge.

Would someone please help me find a way to stay out of the kitchen after dinner? The snack attacks are killing my nutrition goals. Sure, peanut butter is healthy, but not by spoonfuls straight out of the jar. Raisins and Multigrain Cheerios are good for me, but probably not in multiple handfuls…

I may have to buy all prepackaged snacks to keep this little monster at bay.

So what drives you as a runner?

A Year of Blogging and Changes with Running

It has been just over a year since I published my first post here, and I am still as passionate (if not more so) about running as I was a year ago. My dad – the inspiration for my blog – is still running as well. My brother is a runner too, and I enjoy having others around to join in “runner talk” at family get-togethers. How family conversations have changed in the past two years!

I’ve changed a lot in the past two years, too. This past weekend, I was using my Garmin software on the computer. I moved my 2012 workouts to a folder, and I was able to see at a glance how much progress I’ve made as a runner. I still haven’t learned all the little functions, but to see the incremental increase in mileage, with the decrease in pace was motivating. I also started thinking about what else has changed with me as a result.

Five years ago if you had told me I was doing the following, I would have asked you if you were nuts:

1. You will regularly get up at 5 am on Saturdays, to go run for 2-3 hours.

2. You will get to have pancakes, chocolate milk, bagels, and eggs on a regular basis.

3. You will finally be content with your clothing size, but will wear baggy clothes because you want to spend all your extra money on race fees, running shoes, and gear.

4. Strange new grocery items will find their way into your home: black beans, sweet potatoes, whole grain bread.

5. You will make new friends that help you feel a little less crazy about 5:30 am runs and 26.2 mile races.

6. All this will be fun, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t discover it sooner.

What surprising changes has running brought to your life?

Running Goals for 2013

Do you set any goals with your running? I would like to encourage you to do so, no matter what level of running you pursue. It is a good way to measure progress and increase motivation.

In 2011, I celebrated my first full year as a runner. At the end of the year, I decided to set some specific running goals for 2012. I wanted to run a sub 2:00 half, set a new PR in the marathon, add strength training, and eat better as a runner. The time goals I met (thankful for the OKC marathon in April which set my PR, because it sure wasn’t Dallas this year). The latter two I met about 50% of the time. I used this progress to set my goals for this year.

These are the goals I set for 2013:

1. Run 2000 miles (or more) In 2011, I ran over 1000 and in 2012, just over 1500. I think 2000 is the next logical step without increasing risk of injury.

2. New PR in the half marathon (goal 1:55:00) This is a pretty big jump in time from my PR of 1:59:27, but that was on a hilly course in the midst of marathon training – with no taper. The pace is not impossible for me, I just need to push myself more.

3. New PR in the marathon (sub 4:10) I was hoping this would be the year I could set a sub 4:00 goal, but I need to be realistic with this one. I need more practice running 26.2 to get there.

4. Focus on nutrition This year I will not set a weight goal, but I will eat like a runner who wants to be faster. This means eating more runner foods that my kids will turn their noses up, and relying less on convenience.

5. Strength training two times a week Another goal that will help me goals two and three. In the past two weeks, I have made this a priority by working on my core two times a week and arms at least once a week. I can tell a difference, and I want to continue this.

I also have my race calendar ready for the first half of the year, but I need to find a few 5 and 10ks to add:

2/03/13 Texas Half (Irving)

2/24/13 Cowtown Marathon (Fort Worth)

3/24/14 Rock N Roll Half (Dallas)

4/14/13 Big D half marathon (Dallas)

4/28/13 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

Have you set any goals or planned out any races? If you haven’t started running yet, what’s holding you back?

I’m looking forward to a great year, and I hope you are too!