Life (wedding, moving, traveling- Yay!) took precedence over my running since around late 2014/early 2015. I’d still run a few miles here and there, but was averaging around 20 miles/month. For perspective, in 2012 I was just shy of 1000 miles for the year, with some months being close to 200 miles. Fast forward to July 2017. I was feeling very out of shape, and I had some free time to get back into running. For July and half of August, I ran after work through the neighborhoods around our house approximately 3 miles with a longer 4-7 mile run thrown in on the weekends. Hot and humid but I felt good.
My DH (he injured his feet early July, or he would have run with me) was supportive and would push me out the door for runs, but I wanted to relax weeknights after work with him, so I would skip running many nights. Plus, the days were getting shorter, and I won't run by myself outside in the dark (too paranoid). So any serious training wasn't going to be happening. That is, until DH asked the brilliant question, “why don't you go to the gym and run before work?” Light-bulb moment/facepalm! Not sure why I didn’t accept this possibility before… I guess sometimes you need a different perspective to see things that are right in front of you. Either way, the training fire was now re-lit!
I already woke up around 5 am, but if I adjusted just a few minutes earlier, I could get to the gym for opening at 5, run for approx. an hour, and still get to the office before 7! (7 am is a general requirement since I loathe sitting in any traffic in the morning.) Then at night, I could happily relax knowing I already ran. This worked perfectly! Now, I just needed a training plan and a goal race.
I picked a 10K on 11/4/17 as a goal race and found a training plan on Garmin Connect for a 10K. It’s the advanced plan, which converting time into paces has me running 20-30 miles/per week on four days of running. Perfect. I could run only weekday mornings and have weekends for “cross training.” Cross training consists of house destruction/repair. What else would you do on a weekend when your house was built in the mid-19th century???? Generally, I get my upper body/core workouts by ripping down plaster ceilings, reinforcing joists, dry walling, and painting. Next training cycle will be a complete kitchen remodel, and I’m definitely looking forward to that one!
I’ve followed the Garmin Connect plan quite closely, but pushed all the runs onto weekdays and reorganized them to not have hard workout on days next to each other, unless that was in the original plan. It’s mostly a time-based plan, so it takes into account different running abilities. Sometimes I convert to a mile goal for the day, such as for long runs. It just helps me mentally on the treadmill to complete miles so I can push the pace at the end a bit and get done faster. In my brain 9 miles sounds a lot better than 75 minutes...I can get those 9 miles done in closer to 73 minutes! (And, I mean, those less than 2 minutes just mean so much in a 75 minute run. )
I’m using a 10K pace of 6:58, and a threshold pace of 7:30 (sometimes 7:19). My hope is that this will translate to under 7:15 /mile for a goal of under 45 minutes for the 10K race. The difference is because I believe I run faster on the treadmill than outside (I run with a 0% incline, one of these days I'll bump it up to 1%. Maybe. Probably not.).
Last week (week 9 of a 12-week plan) included the following:
- Sunday: rest
- Monday: 10 minute w/u at 8:20 followed by 2 x 2 miles at 6:58 with a 10 minute recovery at 8:34 between.
- Tuesday: 9 mile long run averaging 8:09, start at 8:20 for 5 miles then get progressively faster. (gotta save those 1-2 minutes!)
- Wednesday: rest
- Thursday: 15 min. at 8:34, 15 min at 7:19, 15 min at 8:20
- Friday: rest
- Saturday (only weekend run all training cycle): 15 min w/u at 8:20 then 10 x 2 min at 6:58 (last one held for 3 minutes, with 1 min recovery at 8:34. Cross training: Paint dining room ceiling (made me much more sore than running did – my shoulders still hurt today (Monday))
It was a good week! Finished all the runs well, but definitely didn’t feel great for most of them, and Monday’s run was very difficult. Good thing I get to try that one again next Monday – Ha!