Settling with my Running Pace

Well, I’m still waiting on that routine to fall in place, but….it’s getting better. I had an emotional week last week. The first part of the week, I was struggling with different things with the kids. I was irritable, edgy, and ready to crash by 8:30 every night. By Thursday, things started to turn around. It started when I was notified of the races I’ll be able to register for sponsored by Team Chocolate Milk, and that night we found out my daughter was picked up for the Navy ROTC scholarship for her top school choice – the University of Texas. As you can imagine, that was a pretty emotional moment – with more to come. 🙂

Also, last week’s training went pretty well. It included a ride on the bike trainer, a weight session at the gym with a friend, and a swim. All that, and I still managed to get over 40 miles of running in.

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I also got my heavy medal from doing two Rock ‘n Roll races this year – as a part of Team Chocolate Milk.

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The only drawback was Saturday’s long run. I felt okay starting off, running with my friend (who also decided to do Cowtown), and we were running 9:30s up until about mile 6. I felt sluggish and blah. As the miles continued, we slowed. I wasn’t warming up much either. My friend was feeling as blah as I was. We (I) decided not to worry about pace and just get the miles done. This was harder for me than for her. I’m usually pretty pace oriented on my long runs. I know that every run can’t be great, but I tend to be a little hard on myself sometimes. Or so I’ve been told. At least the sun finally came out around mile 12 to warm us up a bit.

Mittens are still on so it must be cold!

Mittens are still on so it must be cold!

After bouncing some ideas off my husband later that day, I decided to quit being so worried about my running speed. I need to spend some time getting ready to train for the half ironman. It won’t hurt me to cut back a bit on the run miles to work on my weak areas. I’m not under the pretense that I can knock out a sub four hour marathon 10 weeks after a strong 4:17 – and I’m totally okay with that. In fact, the bike and swim will probably help me more at this point.

I’m trying to look at the big picture. Right now, this is what I see.

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Big Goals and Routine Changes

Toward the end of 2015, I saw a lot of posts/tweets/pics about goals for 2016, and race schedules, and plans. I started to feel like I was behind the curve because I didn’t have my race schedule mapped out for the entire year. All I knew was I had a marathon at the end of February.

Then when I wondered if I would ever get it together, things started to fall into place. Now I have the main arteries in place to map out my training for the first part of the year. I’m set with my big goals at least until the end of June.

My blueprint for the next six months to guide my training:

Train to get closer to a four hour marathon at Cowtown by strengthening more, improving overall nutrition, and pushing myself more on the hard and/or long run days.

Tackle a triathlon with an open water swim before June.

So…I can then compete in my first 70.3 race at the end of June – which I registered for before the end of the year to save some cash.

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That was the easy part.

My motivation is high. My training is back in full swing. I had an awesome long run the day after New Year’s. It was my first run over 5 miles since Dallas, and I’d say it went well. There are benefits when I run with a group who are all faster than me.

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I made myself run hills because I know it will prepare me for Cowtown.

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It totally sucked, but I got it done.

My long run Saturday helped me feel better about my endurance. The weather was nasty, but I found that I was able to push myself through mentally. I always wonder what people think when they drive past me and the weather is less than ideal. Then I saw some a softball game going on at the park, and I thought “Well, at least I’m moving.” IMG_7104

On the weekdays, I have been focusing on finishing my runs by a certain time – no matter if I finish the mileage or not – so I can be sure to get my strength routine done. That means if I oversleep, I run less. Since I noticed such a difference in my form during the Dallas Marathon from adding core training, I want to keep at it. It’s the little things that make the difference.

Nutrition. Well, I was doing fine after Christmas and up until last week. I lost a couple of the pounds I gained after the marathon. Then I hit a few bumps over the weekend (s’mores) but I’ll get back to it.

My biggest challenge right now has been my work schedule – which affected my blog. This post was started last Monday.

I’m starting my second week of working between two offices. When the owner approached me a few weeks ago to ask if I’d like to broaden my horizons, I said yes. I will not turn down opportunity to learn new functions. The hardest part for me has been adjusting my schedule. My workday is starting earlier (right after I drop the kids at school), which is fine with me, but I lost some of the time I would use to make and eat breakfast, finish getting ready, etc. In a way, it’s forced me to get my act together earlier. On the other hand, my appetite is all out of whack, because I’m eating breakfast earlier, and taking my lunch later. The major benefit to this though is that I’m a two minute drive from home, and I can go home for lunch. Larabars to snack on in between meals is the norm now. I also carry almonds, greek yogurt, and fruit. If you have any more good ideas for healthy, portable snacks, please share!

I’m sure in a few weeks, my schedule will settle down and I’ll be in a routine. That should be right about the time I get ready to start Half Ironman training, which starts right after the Cowtown Marathon.

I sure do love a challenge!