Way back in January, I blogged about training for a half marathon. Because I'm crazy and because half marathons are like childbirth and you forget what they're like, I've decided to gear up for another one in November. This one makes me even crazier because my training will coincide with going back to school. This may actually kill me. Time will tell.
I've decided to follow the Own It plan in Train Like a Mother, which is a little more intense than the last plan I did, as it has speed work and hill work and runs that are longer than 13 miles. What am I doing?! I was concerned because the hot and humid weather made me slack on my long runs this summer, but I read an article on Runner's World that said that speed 5k training in the summer is the perfect base for a fall half and that's exactly the training that I did this summer (crazy enough, a comfortable 5k pace now gets me a sub-30 5k).
I was a little lazy last week and only ran once, but I biked twice. I knew that I would have to get serious this week and for the next 11 weeks... so I wanted to give myself a week off. I think that's okay. This week for half training, by far the easiest week--outside of the tapers--consisted of a ladder workout. This was my first ladder. Basically, you start out with a 10 minute warmup run, then you do intervals. 1 minute in zone 4-5 (this is a fast pace), followed by a 2 minute recovery, 2 minutes, then 3 minutes, then 2 minutes, then 1 minute, then a 10 minute cool down run. It sounds confusing on paper, but it was pretty simple once I got into it. There are more ladder runs in the plan and the run time will increase as the plan goes on. The next day I did a tempo run. I HATE tempo runs. I don't know why, but I do. This was a pretty easy tempo, though. 1 mile warmup, 1 tempo mile, recovery, then another tempo, and a mile cool down. Both of my tempo miles were sub-9 minutes, so that was good. Unfortunately, there are more tempo runs throughout the plan and none of them are this easy, so that is not good. The next day, my legs were pretty beat, but I just had to do an easy 3 miles. I ran it at a comfortable pace for me, which is now a 9:30 average. This used to be a pace that would kill me! It's amazing how speed work really does work.
Then I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a viral infection, so I rested Thursday. Friday called for 8 miles. I haven't done anything more than 6-7 miles in awhile because blah blah, summer heat and humidity, so I was a little nervous. I've also forgotten how to pace myself, so I was a lot nervous. I tried to do my best to listen to my body and only look at my watch at the mile markers. I was a little nervous when my watch kept showing a pace around 9:30, but my breathing felt controlled, so I kept going. My legs felt heavy and achy, so this was a little disappointing. I wish they'd felt better, because I did feel like I was fighting against tired legs a little--and I'm not back to work yet! How am I going to hit those double digits after I've been teaching all week? I had to make two traffic stops and felt pretty strong until miles 6 and 7 when I hit some steep hills. Those were brutal and it took everything in me to not walk up the hills, but I pushed through and managed to finish with a pace around 9:30, which is definitely a pace that I never dreamed that I could maintain for that many miles! I know that I'll need to start scaling my pace back when I start running longer, but it was great to see that kind of pace for that long of a run. Now let's just hope that I can maintain this strength when the back to school exhaustion hits!