Summer Training

Earlier this year I began a new training program and after a period of rest and reboot, this is the first month I’ve felt as though I can really see the progress. Workouts are getting a little more intense, which makes writing about running a little more interesting.  Basically I didn’t feel as though I had much to blog about before so I didn’t. Like most marathoners, the recovery period and times of cautious rest are the worst. I get anxious and bored. Now I feel a bit like a horse ready to run and I wake up excited about the workouts for the day and the anticipation of a hard workout fill me with butterfly nerves. Love that.

Mileage is no longer a concern of mine. I don’t ask what my mileage is for the week and I have yet to add it up, which is easy because I don’t log workouts like I used too. Every once in awhile Coach Frostick will bring up the number in conversation and I will let it go. (For readers who care, he mentioned I was mid-40’s recently.) For anyone who knows me well, this is surprising. If I had to guess, I would say I was around 70 miles per week this time last year.  I LOVED my mileage. I was a complete mileage whore but I also knew the time it took to run all the miles was not sustainable for my lifestyle. It was putting too much stress on me to try to fit it in here or there. Maybe some people could balance it better than I can but my body was also warning me that it was too much.

I thought I would miss that mileage but the thing is, I’m working just as hard and the times on the Garmin watch have been showing that. I did a tempo run faster that I have ever done before (5:56 pace) solo in 90 degree weather. I was completely elated! Everything is a little too new to translate to PRs right now but I’m hoping after the racing season begins for me (starts next weekend) and I get into the swing of things, the new training will shine through. I’m always a bit rusty for the first few races back but its still the same fun. I’ll be racing a 5K on the 4th of July at Mt. Trashmore. Is Mt. Trashmore the worst name ever for a gorgeous park, running paved area, and playground? I think yes

Speaking of Mt. Trashmore, I attended my first November Project meetup there this past week. The group was wonderfully welcoming and meets weekly (and in multiple cities) so I encourage everyone to attend. This past Wednesday they held a Sunrise 6K race. My friend Megan wanted to kill me because I told her we should just run it easy and then after we passed the starting like I looked at her and said “Well, maybe we should run fast?!?!”  I ended up running it in 6:39 pace for a great 6 am workout. The group felt so sorry for me that I didn’t bring a t-shirt, that they gave me one. :) I also got to break caution tape, which I have to admit, I really loved!!

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Megan and I post race. I told you Mt. Trashmore is gorgeous. It’s where everyone in Virginia Beach goes to do their hill training, it is literally a pile of trash covered with dirt & grass.

Saturday was my day off. This is also new. Days off? What is that?!? I have one day off a week right now (this could/will change). I am hoping this is another building block in the new injury-free me.  So instead of running I went to boot camp at lululemon hosted by The Fit Petite. It was an excuse for me to say “My butt hurts” for the 24 hours following class. Normally I prefer to do the agony of strength work alone, at home, where no one can see my face but this class was really fun & energetic. Plus it helped to be distracted by possible shopping ideas since we worked out in the store.

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Since school is out for summer and I no longer have free time mid-week, Sundays have been my long run days. Long runs are still in the 10-14 mile range for me since marathon training won’t begin for a while. Some of these long runs (maybe most) are fast finish runs. This was is hugely intimidating for me and I’d have to really mentally prepare myself. Initially I would start the runs with friends and finish alone but now I complete the entire thing alone just so that mentally I can get myself into the right frame of mind. Sometimes I work better with training partners and sometimes I have to get into that grind alone to make the most of a workout. Last week I did 12 miles with the last 6 under 6:25. Huge for me at this point. This week was 10 miles at an easier pace.  It’s my hardest day of the week but I always feel amazing when it’s over.

Alright everyone, I can hear my kids rumbling awake. Summer is my favorite season but my free-time is much shorter. I have more about training to write about, including my nutrition, and hope to do a better job of keeping up the blog now that I have steady training to talk about. Happy running everyone and  enjoy your 4th of July weekend!