I missed my run today. It was extremely cold (below zero with the wind chill), and when my face started to hurt after a 5 minute walk across campus, I decided the risk of frostbite was too great. Plus, it turns out that dogs can get frostbite – especially dogs with long, floppy ears. I couldn’t take that risk with Wendy.
It is frustrating, though. This was the first run I have missed since NOVEMBER. I had quite a streak going! Plus, Wendy is very used to her every-other-day runs, and she gets a bit of cabin fever if she misses one. (Yes, I consider how these things affect my dog – but it also helps me get out the door when I’m not motivated. It’s hard to let her down!) Also, I’m really starting to feel the pressure of my goal race in April. I know I have plenty of time, and I’m not even a little bit worried about having to cover the distance. I’m worried about my speed. I need to get my pace faster… and not get injured. I’m trying not to stress about it, especially since everything I read says that winter running is about building a base (endurance), not speed. Still, I thought my pace would be faster by now. I improved pretty quickly after the NWM in October (by roughly 2 min/mile), but I walked most of that race. Now that I’m running more, it is concerning to me that my pace isn’t continuing to increase at that rate.
So, this is my plan (because I always have a plan):
- Relax! Stressing about it isn’t going to help.
- Finish my half-marathon training plan, as written. That means no speedwork. I’m on week 8, and should finish in early March (weather permitting).
- Remind myself that I have to be a bit more flexible with my running because it is winter, and I live in New England!
- Continue adding in cross-training whenever possible.
- Research ways to gradually improve speed. Implement them as appropriate, but plan to do a speed-focused plan for March and early-April.
- Tighten up my nutrition. Weight loss can only help with speed.
- Oh – and relax. I have to remember to relax. I have 95 days to figure this out.