In less than seven weeks, I will be tackling my fifth half marathon. I can hardly believe it! I’ve been meaning to do a training update for a few weeks now, but better late than never, right?
This time with training for the half, it just feels… different. In a good way. A great way, really.
Normally, I sign up for races to keep me on track. I’m usually in a rut with exercise leading into the training season and find that having a race on my calendar makes me get out there to exercise more than I would without something on my schedule. I’ll find myself doing the bare minimum by running 3-4 times a week, and that’s it. No cross training, no strength training, and sort of looking at training as more of a chore than anything.
This time around, I had a really solid fitness base going into training and it has made a world of a difference. I consistently started working out at the beginning of July 4-5 times per week, so I had been working out consistently for 2 solid months when the time for the training plan came. It felt like it was time to focus on running and take my fitness to the next level, rather than just time to pull myself out of a rut. And this time, it’s just felt 100x better, both physically and mentally.
At this point, I’ve completed 5 weeks of training and have 7 more to go, and not to sound conceited, but I have been nailing it every week. You can take a look at my training plan here, but I’ve basically been working out about 6 times a week recently, including 1-2 days of cross training. I’ve been running more times a week, getting in more mileage, doing speed training once a week, and as a result have been going a lot faster than I used to. I know to some people think running paces in the high 8’s isn’t that fast, but the best part about running is that you’re competing against yourself! And for me, that is super duper fast.
Yesterday, I did my longest run to date which was 8 miles. I set up my clothes the night before, just like I was prepping for a race:
Woke up (a little later than planned) and got dressed.
Orrrr maybe I got dressed and then woke up. Heh.
I had a toasted english muffin with banana slices.
This one is actually a whole wheat cinnamon raisin one from Trader Joe’s, and it was AWESOME and only 3 PointsPlus!
Took another quick glance at my route
And then headed out the door. It took a little convincing to get out the door and not to turn back towards my house during the first mile, but after that it was pretty smooth sailing. It’s funny because even though I’ve lived in DC for 10 years (!!!) I am still taken back by the amazing things I get to see while running.
Like the Lincoln Memorial.
The Washington Monument.
The Capital Building.
The White House.
I saw so many tourists out while I was running, and had to pinch myself a little because I LIVE here! OK, enough DC love. Here’s the breakdown:
- Mile 1: 9:08
- Mile 2: 8:17
- Mile 3: 8:40
- Mile 4: 9:06
- Mile 5: 8:59
- Mile 6: 8:53 (Took a GU during this mile)
- Mile 7: 8:42
- Mile 8: 8:09
- Total: 8.01 miles, 1:09:58, 8:44 average pace
Talk about a negative split! While I was definitely ready for the run to be over when I saw myself ticking closer to the 8.0 mark, I felt REALLY good and was so proud of myself for getting it done.
I’m doing a 10k this coming weekend and the one after, which will be my first races since my last half marathon – which was not good at all. I am excited!
Why do you normally sign up for races? If you don’t, what do you do to get out of an exercise rut?