11.04.2013

A Change in Perspective

Weekends are for long runs and recently, my long runs have been an interesting twist of fate. I have had my goals, went out to run my plan, and ended up running a completely different run. A 16 mile run that blew my socks off and an 18 mile run that seemed so tough but yet was just fine were behind me. This weekend I had 16 miles to do. I wasn't sure if I was ready although I knew I should be.

My weekend running started with just a mile on Saturday and as much as I love to run more, I am determined to stick to the plan as much as I can. I then envisioned a wonderful day with darling daughter but I was still feeling a bit grumpy. The run didn't create a cleansing sweat so we decided to find a way out of the grouchiness one way or another. First, let's backtrack a moment. Before my run I stood and looked around our home and pondered the idea of a real dresser for me and moving my cubbies to the living room to create a prettier library for darling daughter. I mentioned this to her with a quick addition of "Oh, forget it. We are good. I don't need to spend money on that." And I ran....one mile.

And then the idea struck that we should just go check out a garage sale and see if we could find the one dear hubby told us about. Some friends were having a big sale. We headed out not sure exactly where we were going but knew the general vicinity. Score! The first sale we saw was theirs. And they had a chifferobe in a box! Now I really had no idea what a chifferobe was but the picture painted a thousand words and after much reflection, we got it. It had never been opened. Two guys moved it into my car and then we immediately brought it home. Getting it out of the car was a challenge. A step by step, piece by piece struggle. And that was just the start. It took me 2.5 hours to put that thing together and fortunately I decided to move it from the living room to the bedroom before putting the drawers in. I still felt like I was moving an elephant but it was worth it. And score 2 was I didn't have to move my medals!

By 3:00 pm I was beat and wondering how on Earth I was going to run 16 miles the next day. I had worked hard - not what I had in mind before a long run.

Come Sunday morning I didn't want to run. I knew I needed to. I knew I would be mad at myself for not doing it. But I felt sick to my stomach (think it was pre-run nerves) and slowly dragged myself out into the frigid air. Okay, just 73 degrees but it felt frigid. P.S. By the end of my run the temperature was 75 degrees. 

It took me a good three miles to feel like my body was warming up both internally and externally, although the air still felt cool. I thought of those who really have cold running conditions and pondered how they did it. Okay, I am sure they put more on then a running skirt and bra top but you get the picture. I also questioned if doing all these "cooler" runs on hills will adequately prepare me for the Honolulu Marathon. Did I need to go down and run the warmer flats? I also tried to ease up my pace with the ever present plan to average a 10'00" pace for the first half and then up the pace for the second half.

I know I need to start my marathon race slower and I am trying hard to achieve this in training. To start slow. The initial downhills work against me and trust me, that long up climb at mile 3 helped slow me down but still, I was feeling unsure. I still wasn't running happy. I told myself keep moving forward. No turning early. Just keep running.

Around mile 5 something happened. First, I heard by average pace, I think it was something around 9'51", and I had a new plan. Wouldn't my training be more effective if I could hold my GMP (goal marathon pace) on the harder part of my route? Wouldn't I be better prepared to run well on race day if I averaged 9'50" on the uphill climbs? How effective is it to run faster the second half when that has some downhills even if I am trying to go faster than GMP?

I picked up the pace. I had a new plan for my long runs. My coach wants me running half of my long run at GMP so I want to do those miles first on the harder part. Then I want to see how strong I can remain on the second half when I am getting tired. Isn't that better training? Getting used to run on tired legs while sustaining a solid pace? Yes, I have downhills helping me here and there but still, won't that be good training?

At the halfway point my average pace was 9'21". That I am sure of. I mentally noted that I wanted to commit the pace to memory. I told myself at the halfway point I could take a nice recovery mile before tackling the rest of my run. During this recovery mile I took a salt tab and applesauce. Don't worry, I took a gel at miles 4 and 12 too. And I love that my recovery mile pace was 9'28" since it wasn't on a downhill stretch AND it is below my GMP. And yes, I picked up the pace as my run continued and yes, I did slow down on the uphill stretches and fly some on the good downhill stretches. I am very happy to say my overall pace was 9'06". I managed to still pull off negative splits and put in some hard work in the middle of my run. I am a very happy camper! My doubts may slowly begin to slip away.....maybe.

I finished my run with a slow 0.7 mile walk uphill home and loved the opportunity to take some pictures of Maui to share. Hope you enjoyed them!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful darling daughter enjoyed watching the NY marathon as much as I did.
Daily Affirmation: I balance the important things in my life with grace.

3 comments:

  1. Gotta love a confidence-building run!

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  2. Congrats on a great run. Remember this one. Use this one to chase your doubts and fears away. Mark this post. Come back to it often. You are a very "mental" athlete - so use this awesome run to your advantage!!!!

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  3. Solid pace- congrats!! Having a coach is a great way to build confidence in your plan, and in yourself.

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