“Look at your body. You’re built for the long haul.”
Someone once said this to me. I realize it sounds harsh but I understood what they meant. I know I’m not ever going to be a speed demon. I’ve always been happy to hover around a 10-something mile pace and set my goal for this year’s Monumental half at 2:15, which would be a one minute PR at a 10:18 pace.
My body apparently wants to prove me wrong. This training season, I’ve been averaging closer to 9:30 minute miles, even clocking a sub 9 average on a few shorter runs. I’m not entirely sure what’s changed. I haven’t even been following a super strict training plan. For my last three half marathons, I had a calendar with 3 – 4 runs a week and I would get anxious if I missed a run. This time around, my schedule has been insane and I’ve just had to get in runs whenever I could, while making sure to increase my long runs each week. I even reached double digits earlier in training than I have in the past.
It’ll be interesting to see how this laid back strategy pays off on race day. The anal, over-thinking, planner side of me is kind of freaking out a little. But I know how great my training runs have been and I feel really in tune with my body right now. I have a better handle on how to conserve/push my energy than ever before. So…I’m going with it.
A few notable moments so far this training season:
- Running in shorts for the first time, which I wrote about at length here.
- 9 miles at a 9:46 average pace! The first long run in (slightly) cooler weather and it was an absolutely beautiful day. I ran smart and my legs felt strong. I’ve never been sub-10 at that distance before and it had me considering adjusting my race day goal to 2:10, which is insane.
- The worst, most un-fun 10 mile run that made even my 2:15 goal seem laughable. It was a good reminder to control what you can. I drank wine and stayed out too late the night before. I didn’t have my usual pre-run Cliff bar. I had two water bottles on my fuel belt originally but took one off, which I regretted later since it ended up being hotter out than my 9-miler the week before. It was an all-around hot mess. But the miles count the same!
- Corporate Challenge 10k in 56:13 (9:01 average pace). This race was absolutely unreal and I was on such a runner’s high after. It was at the IMS so we got to run on the track. I didn’t realize how fast I went out but I felt good so I kept pushing. The last mile was rough and I thought I was going to throw up after but it was worth it to record that time. So crazy/awesome/ridic!
- Corporate Challenge 6-mile cycling time trial. It was my first bike race and I had no idea what to expect. I was aiming for 24:00 and finished in 20:36, a 3:26/mile average! They let us go on the Major Taylor Velodrome after, which was scary but cool. Check out the video here.
What’s next? This weekend I’ve got the Back on My Feet Relay. Then I want to do 11 on the 11th, partly because I’m nerdy but also because I felt like my endurance was lacking at the end of the Carmel half. I’ve always peaked at 10 miles in training so I want to see if going up to 11 changes anything. Then it’s taper time until race day.
I’m hungry for a PR and based on how things have been going, it should be within reach. But you never know what’s going to happen any given run day.
What are you training for? Do you keep a strict plan or just go with whatever you can get in? Share your updates below!