I admire those who can post updates on their blog on a regular basis. I have every intention of posting weekly – on Monday or Tuesday. That should be doable, right? But sometimes, life gets away from me and before I know it, it’s Friday night and I’m ready to go to bed at 7:30.
So here is the post I wanted to write last week, but it was a tough week. I can report that I’m back on track now.
After the Houston Marathon, I started to second guess myself. Why was I running slower? What was I doing different? Had I reached my full potential and started a steady decline in speed? I also noticed while I was running the marathon I felt different with my body composition – heavier. Sure, it was probably due to a few Christmas goodies here and there, but I didn’t like it. It motivated me in a good way, and the day after the race, I made some changes to my diet. These are changes that I want to be permanent, but I also know how I can get sloppy after a while. I need my changes to stick.
In the past four weeks, I have been tracking all my food, eating more fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and I have felt much better. My energy level has been up even though I’m not getting ideal sleep. My easy run pace has dropped to what I consider normal for me and I have started to see some speed come back. I haven’t been able to get a mile near 8:00 range yet, but it’s getting closer. I don’t want to push the speed too hard since I’m still training for the Cowtown Marathon.
I’ve lost a pound or two, depending on which week it is. I’m trying not to focus on the scale too much. As long as I stay within a specific range, I’m not going to worry about it. I have picked back up on regular core work (planks, bridges, pushups) and after Cowtown I will expand my strength training to replace some of the running miles.
The last two Saturdays, my long runs have given my self confidence the boost it needed. A week ago, I ran an 18 miler with 12 miles around a 9:15 pace. It was nice to know I could push and do what I set out to do.
This past Saturday, I pushed again by running with a faster runner for 10.5 miles of my 16 total. Overall we averaged 9:09 pace for that segment, but I know there were some fast miles in there because the first 3-4 were 9:30s. Negative splits are a great confidence builder. I was wiped out at the end, but it felt great!
Now I’m ready to taper for Cowtown. I plan to take this Saturday run a little easier to rest the stress I’ve built in my legs the past few weeks. I will also focus on keeping my nutrition in check so that’s not slowing me down.
Have a great week!