Um – see that over there? My countdown is truly on now – my goal race is only 30 days away! Yikes. To be honest, I am not feeling as ready as I expected when I signed up (though, does anyone ever feel REALLY ready for a race?). There are a couple reasons for this:
- My injury is not fully healed. There are limits to how much I can train in certain ways.
- I was rock solid about my training from November to February. Unfortunately, I was also terrified that I would make my injury worse again or get reinjured. This really affected my progress – although my endurance got better, and I REALLY enjoyed every workout, my pace did not increase. I simply wasn’t pushing hard enough. Lesson learned.
- I’ve been feeling crazy swamped and overwhelmed for the last 4-6 weeks. Sometimes, my workouts just haven’t happened.
Ah well. No matter what, I know I have put in the time. I just hope that my progress will be good enough.
In other news, Wendy and I are BOTH really enjoying the warmer weather. 🙂
My running schedule is a bit off (because of the weather), so I had a long run scheduled for today. I’ve been feeling a bit out of whack the last couple of days – achy feet and trouble staying hydrated – so I was a little nervous for the workout. After drinking my Nuun (my favorite way to hydrate before/during workouts), having a good dynamic warm-up, and doing a bit of foam rolling, I headed out.
It. Was. Glorious. Seriously, it was tough, but it felt SO good. The weather was wacky – unseasonably warm, but kind of stormy. It rained a couple times, and was VERY windy. I think Wendy was a little alarmed when the wind picked up, but she did a great job sticking with me. With a good audiobook playing, the time flew by and I finished my run – 8.2 miles. I always shoot for a little farther than I am supposed to go (according to my plan) because I’m worried about reaching my house again before I finish the distance – that’s why my runs are always an odd number (8.2, 4.36, etc.). Today’s goal was 8 miles.
Also, today’s run was my last one in January! I can’t believe how quickly the month went by, and how close we are to spring! This month, I ran 52.52 miles (13 runs with an average distance of 4 miles). Not bad, and definitely my highest mileage since I returned to running after my injury. For reference, I ran 33.88 in December, 25.9 in November, and 26.61 in October (but one of those was the NWM 13.1).
Oh, and for all the endorphins and whatnot from my run, the VERY long, hot shower after I got home was pretty amazing too.
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.