5K tempo run… The best one ever!

I’m very excited about my run yesterday.

It was my tempo run day and I was dreading it.  Running that hard for that long is difficult for me, but it always benefits my running.  After my tempo day, I run easier, faster and with less effort.  So I make myself do them and I never regret it.  I do dread it through.

Yesterday I ran 2 warmup miles in my Saucony Mirage 2 shoes (my favorite shoes) and then came home and changed into my Saucony A5 racing flats and went for the tempo run.  TJ started me doing this where he changes his shoes before beginning at tempo pace.  It not only gives a chance for a little rest, but it is amazing going from a regular running shoe to a light racing flat.  It feels like there is nothing on your feet.

My hope was to run 2 of my tempo miles under 7:00 pace and then the third as fast as I could, knowing that I would be tired.  I have never run 2 miles under 7:00 pace before, but I wanted to get use to the feeling of running that fast.  I wanted my brain to learn how fast that was and my legs to know how to keep at that pace.  So, I went for it.

I finished 2 miles feeling pretty good.  From my iSmoothRun app, I could tell that I should be averaging under 7:00 pace.  The third mile was an effort.  But the idea behind a tempo run is to hit the wall.  To know that feeling when your body says, “No more”.  Well after yesterday, I know that feeling.

So how did it go?  Here is the breakdown of my tempo miles:

Mile 1 – 6:50 pace
Mile 2 – 6:50 pace
Mile 3 – 7:02 pace

Wow, I set a person record.  My last 5K race I ran at a 7:09 pace and a total time of 22:10.  I was not in a good place when I finished as it took 10 minutes of medical attention to get me back to a normal breathing state.  I ran this 5K at a 6:54 pace and a total time of 21:29.  I couldn’t be happier.  It was hard, but I was able to get in 2 recovery miles afterwards.

TJ, RS and I are training for a 5K in May where my goal is to run it at 20:00 (6:26 pace).  It is a big goal, but this will be the first 5K I have ever actually trained for.  I’ve also learned that I need to run my easy runs at a slower pace.  I’ve read that those who run too fast all the time end up running slower and getting hurt more than those who run 80% easy and 20% fast.

Today is an easy day, and I need it.  I am a bit sore this morning, but not too bad. It was worth it!

With all the dreading of my tempo day, it was the best day ever.

First half marathon recap – It was fun

I admit I was nervous going into our first half marathon.  I didn’t really know what to expect.  The only races we have run thus far were 5Ks and now I’m looking at the starting line of a 13.1 mile race with thousands of people crowding around me.

It was fun.

The first 6 miles were easy.  They were relatively flat and it was amazing seeing all those people running through the streets of Birmingham USA. I was encouraged that my app was continually measuring my pace around 8:00.  My goal was 8:2o so I figured I was banking some time for what was ahead.  Then the hills began.  In fact it was more like on long 2 mile hill.  Not really, but that is what it felt like.  The people around me went from talking and laughing to breathing hard and being quite.  It was tough.  I was beginning to pace closer to 8:30, but I told myself where there are uphills, there are downhills.  Finally the downhills started and I was able to pick up some time.  The downhills seemed to last a couple of miles also and I was feeling much better.  I was also getting back into the high 7 minute pace.

The final leg of the race was the toughest.  It was three straight flat miles.  There was a small incline for a while and then just flat.  I knew I only had a couple of miles left and knew that the time I finished with would be the time I would have to live with, so I picked up my pace.  By the time I turned my last turn and had a half mile to go, I was shot.  I somehow kept my time up though.  With the finish line 500 yards away, I gave it my all.  I ended up finishing in 1:44.  I beat my goal of 8:20 with a final pace of 7:58.  I could have cried.  A month ago as TJ and I were beginning our workouts (hill, tempo and steady state runs) I really thought 8:30 pace was a dream.  Here I finished at a time that if I could have done that for the 26.2 miles, I would have qualified for Boston!  Thanks TJ.  It meant more to me that you will ever know.

TJ, by the way finished at 1:28.  How great is that for a first half marathon.  I was so impressed.  RS, whom I was worried about since he had been hurt so much, ran in Vibram 5 finger shoes and not only finished, but ran it under 2 hours!!!

It was an amazing day.  Now some much needed time off.  TJ is already getting our training together for the Spring Scramble 5K.  It was the first race we ran in when we started running last spring and so it will be great to run it again.

Just so you know, I LOVE RUNNING!

A new workout to prepare for my first half marathon

Okay, 11 days left until our half marathon and things are getting exciting.  We are working hard at our workouts along with tapering them somewhat so we are fresh for the race.  No hill runs until after the big race (yay), but I had a new experience in my running yesterday.  TJ and I ran together and I did a steady state run.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t anything new, but it was new to me.

We started with a warmup mile and then we proceeded to run 4 miles at an average of 7:50 a mile.  This is TJ’s normal pace, but for me it was hard.  By the time I made the 5th mile, I told him that I thought I should stop.  He that I could try one more mile at a cool down rate and then see if I could pick it up after a half mile.  Well, I decided to go with his advice and ran the last mile at an 8:57 pace.  Overall we ran 8:06 which got me a PR for my 10K.

RS got hurt again while running.  He says his foot felt swollen and wisely walked home rather than trying to run on it.  We need to figure out how to keep him healthy so he can continue to run.

Thanks TJ for the help.

I love running.

13.1 miles yesterday, but it was not fun

Sunday was our long run day.  My goal was to do 13.1 miles in under a 9 minute mile.  I did it.

It was tough!

I ran 13.14 miles in an 8.58 pace.  I don’t know how, but it was a personal best for me.  TJ ran 18 miles at a 7:18 pace – how does he do that??? I am totally amazed what he can do.

Now to a question.  Why is it so hard for me to run in the morning?  I guess it is because I run in the afternoon 5 days a week and only run in the morning on weekends.  But this is crazy.  At mile 3 of my long run, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck.  My legs hurt, my hip hurt and I just wanted to stop.  This was mile 3!!!  I have been running 5-6 miles a day for a long time now and don’t have much of a problem doing that.  I don’t know if it is the thought of going 13 miles that is my problem or if it is the fact I get up and eat some eggs and grits and then go out, but I have to figure this one out.  Most races are in the morning and I don’t want to get into the middle of my half marathon and feel like I can’t go on.  To be honest it was a miracle that I made the mileage yesterday.  Most Sundays I try to run about 10 miles, but with the race coming up in 3 weeks I figured it would be a good day to give the full mileage a try.

It was a victory to finish under a 9 minute pace.  And once again, TJ continues to amaze me.  We’ve only been running about 10 months and he is burning it up on long run days.

Today is our off day.  I am thankful for that.  Then Tuesday it all starts over again.

I love running, but I don’t know why some days.

Best fall marathon? TJ wants to qualify for Boston!!!

First, yesterday was a great run. I mentioned in an earlier post that I tend to run faster after exerting myself in a 5K race. I started doing tempo runs this week with the input of TJ and it made a huge difference. I had a record 10K run yesterday in 50:55 total time. It really wasn’t much effort, except at the end when I was trying to get my 10K in under 51:00. I know it was the tempo run from Wednesday that made the difference.

The training continues for our half marathon. Today is a hill day (ugh) – my first. TJ says it helps a lot, but I’m not looking forward to it.

After our half marathon in February, we look for a marathon in the fall. TJ mentioned finding a fast marathon as he wants to qualify for Boston. He also wants me to qualify, but at this time I don’t see that happening.

Right now we are looking at Chicago or Jacksonville. Both are considered fast marathons. The advantage to Jacksonville is that I have a friend there we could stay with. The advantage to Chicago is that we also have friends there and we love to go to Ballydoyle’s Irish pub and also get some Giordano’s pizza. Another option that would mean a lot to me is the Marine Corp Marathon. The main reason for that is that this is the marathon my Dad and siblings always ran. It would be great to make my first marathon the same one my dad ran in years ago – also since <a href=”https://runat49.wordpress.com/why-i-run/&#8221; he is the inspiration for my running.

I don’t know if anyone has any suggestions. It is still early, but I know that April is when sign up begins for the Marine Corps Marathon and last year they filled up quickly.

What a week

About 10 years ago an older man saw me rushing to meet someone for a meeting and told me, “sometimes the journey is the destination”. I found a shirt with a similar saying on it and have worn it in my last two 5Ks. That saying really helps me in running, especially running the same route in my neighborhood six days a week. For some reason, some days/weeks I go out to run and just dread the time. I am sore or tired from getting up at 3:00am. I usually run after work, somewhere around 2:00pm so it has already been a long day.

This was not one of those weeks…

Here are the personal records I broke in the past 7 days:

5K race – Time: 22:10 Pace: 7:09
10K run – Time: 52:17 Pace: 8:22
10 mile run – Time: 1:28:36 Pace 8:49

To steal a line from Apple, running this week “just felt right”. I really didn’t push it (other than my 5K). The journey was my destination and I felt great. I’ve decided to try and keep under a 9:00 pace for my half marathon next month. Being my first race over 3.1 miles I don’t know what to expect. I have heard from TJ that it is wise to begin slow and finish strong. I am really looking forward to it. Then after a couple of 5Ks this summer and our first marathon will happen in the fall. Who would have thought that less than a year ago I couldn’t run more than 2 miles. I am really enjoying the journey!!!