Every week is a new lesson learned, and these past couple weeks gave me probably the most important one so far.
For week 6, I followed the same format as the week before with two easy runs at 5 miles and the long run at 12. I also added strength training back in my routine, going to F45 twice for some resistance work.
I felt amazing during the easy runs, completing them in faster time and with a faster average pace than in week 5. I went into the long run feeling excited. I wore sweatpants over my leggings this time, which made such a massive difference in my comfort level, I want to kick myself for being so dumb and not doing it before. I finished more or less the same as the long run the week before, and overall ended week 6 feeling pretty happy.
Week 7 could not have been more different. Looking ahead at my training plan, the long runs for the next two weeks were listed as 12-14 miles before going down to 10-12 and then shooting up to 15-16 and then 17. So I decided to go for the half marathon (13.1 miles) for the next two long runs to get a baseline on my pace and timing. With that in mind, I aimed the easy runs (listed as 5-7 and 4-6) to be 6 miles each. Easy peasy.
Or not. Man was I struggling. For the second easy run, I was so tired and going so slow that I stopped at 5 miles. I could feel my body hitting a wall. Which I know is so common in training and is simply a sign to reel it in a for a bit. But… I felt so defeated and weak. It was such a mental struggle to overcome that kind of thinking and accept that training is not a consistent upward trend. It has highs and lows, peaks and valleys. Bodies need time and recovery. Sometimes they hit a wall. And that’s okay.
But because I’m ME and DUMB, I was still determined to do the half for the long run. Despite all the very clear signs my body was telling me. Despite the snowstorm hitting New York on Saturday that meant I would have to go Friday. Despite doing a lower body resistance day on Thursday.
Like I was fully so stubborn. Enough that the universe was like “okay you wanna play?” and started the snow a day early so that when I woke up on Friday, enough was coming down that I knew I wouldn’t be able to go. I couldn’t risk not knowing how slippery the route was or how quickly the weather could turn and turn worse when I was miles away from home.
So yeah okay universe and body, you win, message received.
I chose instead to do a speed run around the track because a) a track has better traction (lol), and b) it’s right in front of my building so if it got worse I could be home in less than a minute.
I’d honestly been neglecting speed runs during training in favor of “easy” runs because I felt, since I was covering more miles on easy runs, they were more important. But I’ve been doing research lately on how I can improve my training and educating myself on what I should be aiming for on each run in terms of pace, heart rate, timing, etc. I learned that speed/tempo runs are actually considered the second “hard” run of the week along with the long run.
So thanks to the snowstorm, I have taken two fully lazy, totally chill rest days this weekend, and week 7 ended without a long run in the books. And as much as the overachiever, scared of failure, ridiculous part of me hates it, I have to admit… maybe it was just what I needed.
I now look forward to week 8, wrapping up two months of training with my strength recovered and ready to dominate my first half on Saturday and with a better understanding of how to tackle each run.
And with 48% of my fundraising goal reached, maybe I’ll reach both halfway milestones at the same time! Make that happen for me?!
Until next time, stay safe, stay warm, stay strong.