It always seems like when you’re told what to do, you have to do the opposite. Usually, this means on tempo run/speed work days, I dread every minute of it. I want to run slow, or better yet, walk. I want to take longer breaks. But when I’m told to run slow? I have to force myself to slow down.
At least, that’s what happened on my run on Sunday. I’ve been averaging between 35-40 miles a week, deciding before each run how far and how fast I want to go. It’s been nice not having anything to train for and therefore no training plan to follow. My longest runs were about 7 miles, and I didn’t have a ‘long run’ day because I would frequently run 6-7 miles whenever I felt good.
Since I decided to do this half marathon in June, I found a training plan that will help me get to the sub-1:45 time I’m looking for. It’s a pretty advanced training – most plans I’ve followed in the past for marathon training have gradually built up to long runs, starting around 5-6 miles on your first long run Saturday. This plan I’ll be doing this spring starts me off at a whopping 12 miles, and has me running 12-16 miles each weekend. I’m okay with that, and I know that if my body needs a break or a shorter long run, I’ll take it.
I start the training plan in mid-March, which means I should probably start to build up my long runs now, so that I’m ready for 12 when it comes in a few weeks (and I don’t go from 6-12 overnight). So this past Sunday, I did 9 miles. I did the route I used a bunch for marathon training – from Coors Field down and around Sloan’s Lake and back. I like it because it’s a lollipop style route, so even though it’s technically an out-and-back, it feels like I’m doing a loop. Also, it’s uphill for miles 2-4, which means for miles 7-8, I am coasting – a huge ego boost!
Even though 9 miles is more than I’ve run in a while, I did keep reminding myself to go slow. The long run pace for the training plan is 9:05-10:10, which isn’t exactly slow for me, since most of my runs are 8:30-9:30 paces, I can sometimes tend to be overeager.
Anyways, I managed a 9:23 minute mile pace, which should probably be slower – and, let’s be honest, will likely be slow when I’m doing 12-16 miles. But it was a great day – can you believe it’s February and the temperature has consistently been in the 60s? Sunday it was breezy but around 54 when I left, and probably 62 by the time I finished.
I wore lululemon wunder unders and a long sleeve swiftly tee. I was worried I would be hot but given the wind, I felt just right. I could have used a pair of ear warmers or a headband, though! My ears are so sensitive. I think I need some sort of ear protection when it’s below 60, which is warm – I could be running in shorts and a tee and I’d still need a headband! I need to find a lightweight but strong ear protector for those types of runs – that’ll be my next buy.
And this is how I relaxed post-run: some legs up the wall, a little bit of avocado toast, and a dog chewing her toy on my lap while I legged-up-the-wall. I swear, Addie loves not letting me do yoga!