5K and marathon training – Doing both at the same time

To begin with, a word of thanks to my big brother for the post yesterday.  I was really blessed with what he said (and I think he is a great writer :))  It means a lot that my journey affects others in some way.  The path I am going on isn’t easy.  It is hard work and requires a lot of sacrifice from my family, so when I read what big brother wrote yesterday, it really encourage me.  THANKS!

Now, on to a dilemma of sorts.  I guess it isn’t a dilemma, but a choice that has made some of my training more difficult.

I really want (as you all know by now) to qualify for the Boston Marathon in September.  I read more and more articles saying that huge number of people are hoping to run it because of what happened there this year.  Totally understandable.  For me, I set my goal months before the race. I have a long way to go to get to the point of qualifying by September.

I also love running 5Ks with TJ and RS.  We ran five 5Ks our first year of running and had a blast.  The first one we ran was the Spring Scramble about a month after we started running and so we wanted to run the same race this year.

Here is the issue.  I am trying to train for the 5K, with the knowledge I only have 5 months to prepare for the Lehigh Valley Marathon (link).  I chose this marathon because it occurs just before Boston registration and 25% of those who run it qualify for Boston.

I don’t know if my training is at cross purposes or not.  I really want to run the 5K in 20 minutes if possible, but I also really want to begin increasing my mileage so that I have a chance in September.

Yesterday was a half mile repeat day of training.  TJ says these repeats are great for getting speed up for the 5K.  It was rough.  I don’t know why, but I tend to do better running 3 miles straight than running 1/2 mile and a minute rest and then repeating the process.  I did okay, but not near my goal of under 7:00 per mile for 6 repeats.  In fact I only made 2.5 repeats and had to stop and just run some recovery miles.  On top of that, I got a rock in my sole of my shoe that was in so deep I could feel it on my foot and had to stop to dig it out.  Crazy.  I only made 6 miles total even though I was trying for 7.  Some days you just need to cut your losses and go home.

Today is another day.  Just a regular run.  I am really going to try to slow it down.  I think I have been pushing the speed a bit much lately.

So to sum up, Boston Marathon /  Spring Scramble.  I would have never thought I would be pushing for these goals just a few months ago.

I love running!

Rough interval run yesterday.

Some runs are like hills, you have up runs and you have down runs.  Yesterday was a bit of both.  During my run, I thought, “what have I done”, “this is the worst run ever”, “what was I thinking running on my day off yesterday?”.  You know… the thoughts that go through your head as you are just trying to get your next breath.

Drama aside, it was a difficult run.  Since I like to analyze my runs, I would say it was from several factors:

  1. I ran on my day off.  Not only ran, but ran a hilly neighborhood.
  2. I eat more than usual at lunch.  I got to catch up with a good friend, but also eat more than I should have.
  3. It was 82 degrees outside (27.7 celsius).  The hottest day in 6 months.
  4. I ran a new type of run.  I ran half mile repeats with 1 minute recovery in between.

Okay, it wasn’t fun.  I’ve established that.  I learn from my mistakes.  The good news is that I ran 5 miles in 7:57, but the bad news is I wanted to run 7 miles.  I figured I should cut it short when I started noticing tingling in my hands and fingers.  I figured that was a pretty strong clue that I needed to stop my run early.

I was encouraged by the pace of my half mile intervals though.

  1.  6:30
  2. 7:02
  3. 6:58
  4. 7:48
  5. 8:14

So, I did run pretty well.  It was tough though.  I mean REALLY tough.  So tough that I wondered why I do this to myself.  In the end, it will pay dividends.  To be honest, if I run my 5K in May at a 20 minute pace I’ll be grateful.  If I qualify for Boston in September, I’ll be beyond grateful.  We aren’t guaranteed anything in this life and I am honestly grateful to just be able to run.  Many people would like to and can’t for some reason or another.  I am a 50 year old man who 2 years ago weighed 278 lbs and couldn’t run 1/4 mile and now I hope to run a 5K in 20 minutes.  I love that about running.  It is what you make it.  It is up to you and the grace of God as to where you go and how far you take it.

Okay.  That is enough for today.  As I stated in the beginning, running is like a hill day.  Ups and downs.  The nice thing is that even when you are going up the biggest hill, you know that there is a down hill on the other side.