Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Training Linkup: The Richmond Edition

In case you didn't get enough training talk yesterday, here's some more !


This will be the last Training for Tuesday post before Richmond in 17 days.  2 Weeks and 3 days. I've been referring to Richmond as my second half and technically it is because technically, I've run 13.1 miles almost a year ago.  But my brain has started this weird trick where it tells me that since we kind of started over (slower and way more cautiously) that this is my first and it's not really a big deal because this race is just to make sure we started training in general.  Does that sound weird ? Yeah, it does.  I mean, who trains and runs-and pays for !- a half marathon that isn't really a race for them ?

I plan on leaving it all out there for Richmond, don't get me wrong.  This is still a race I'd love to run and have been looking forward to for months.  And when the idea of a fall half originally popped up in my head, I chose Richmond because everyone always says "Oh, Richmond's great," and "Richmond is my favorite race."  But the one thing I heard more than anything else was "So many people PR at Richmond." PR ? Would I like that ? Yes, please.

So training began ! I got my plan all worked out and was feeling really great about it.  I noticed I was significantly slower than last year, but I was coming off of being a couch potato for nearly 8 months so I assumed I would get faster.  I didn't. Granted, I wasn't trying to go faster, I was just trying to get my miles in.  In fact, I didn't WANT to run fast because I wanted to play it safe and make sure I didn't screw anything up and have to take too many rest days, blah blah blah.  But it was still difficult considering that I knew at some point not so long ago, that my body was capable of running around a 10:00/mi pace and I was currently running anywhere from 11:30-12:00/mi.  

I moped.  I cried.  I let myself feel bad.  And at the same time it also started this interesting development in my brain.  The more sad I got about being slower, the more my brain went, "but we COULD be faster...later, but we could !" I'm sorry, what ? Who's brain is this ? When did we start being optimistic ?

This spark spread like a wild fire.  If I put the distance and endurance in NOW, and continued to train like I still had a race even after Richmond, I could focus on getting faster.  I could sign up for a spring half and use my Richmond time to give me a different and more realistic goal.  AND (this was my brain's favorite part) I could be smart about it - less injuries and less nerves about being ready. I can use races as benchmarks in my progress to help me set mini goals and because races are fun and I like them. 

Ladies and Gentleman, I have successfully adulted.

I wish I could just run all the time without needing a race at the end of it, and maybe someday that will happen.  But until then, I need a goal/race/light at the end of the tunnel to constantly push myself to be better. I'm pretty excited to start planning future races and the places and experiences that will come along with that.

Now go share the love with Alyssa and Tracy and everyone else in their amazing linkup ! 


  1. Good for you girl, shit anyone that can run miles at least more then 1 is amazing to me. I just started running yesterday on top of my regular workouts, cause I do want to run a 5k and then a 10 and so on. It truly is a struggle for a non runner.

    Ps I was trying to follow you on blog loving and it wont find your blog :(

  2. I started running at the beginning of this year. I started with the C25K program and scuffed at the thought that I would ever complete it and be able to run for 30 minute straight. I play mind games that hold me back and I learned after months of trying that I am indeed capable of that! I am not a fast runner or a good runner, but I show up and do it at least twice a week.

    I understand the need to have a goal to push towards. Perhaps I would be a better runner if I had a race to train for, but I guess what I am saying is that we all get in our heads sometimes. Once you get out of it, that is where the greatness is! And you show yourself that you can do so much more! Good luck on this race, I know you got this!

  3. man i wish i could adult! i passed on a half marathon that was last weekend because i knew i wouldn't do well. if i had been logical about it, or optimistic, i could have trained and ran it, and then done better in the spring. sigh. i am really, really, really, REALLY hoping I do the spring races. teach me how to adult?
    ps that adulted gif, and the arthur's dad gif. i love that episode so hard.

  4. I honestly don't think I could do any of this without goal races. They are ABSOLUTELY benchmarks and excellent ways to measure progress and continue with self-motivation. And I will just say this too, I've heard before that to go faster you have to go longer. Remember what I said on the phone the other day about my pace? Highly doubt I'd have it without the distance runs I've been putting in lately. Not saying you need to go and sign up for a marathon right now because that would be crazy, but I think that with Richmond as a springboard for a strong fall/winter training cycle, you'll notice your speed getting closer to where you want it just by virtue of some new power in those legs.

  5. Um nope, if there is no race involved I'm not doing it. I think I would still run for my sanity, but I always need some future race lingering to keep me motivated. Richmond is an amazing course (and my half PR!) and I hope you love it! I still haven't made up my mind if I'm running it or not...if it hasn't sold out by that week then I guess I'll have to decide. I don't think I am, but I want to because it really is such a great race.

  6. First I just want to say that I LOVE Richmond and I'm so jealous you are doing a half there. Second I feel like I could have written this post. I am SO much slower than I used to be, I'm just not getting faster no matter how many miles I run, granted I"m like you and I'm not really pushing to get faster, but I thought it would just come naturally. Good Luck!! I think our half marathons are on the same day!


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