Repeat after me: miles do not equal workouts. I have talked about this before (May 2011, to be exact), but as much as I’d like to believe that just running a lot will make me a better runner, it won’t. Sure, I have a pretty good aerobic endurance, but am I in shape to run a 5k? Do I have the strength needed to rock a 10k PR? Absolutely not. But nonetheless, I ended up running a 5k on Sunday. I’ve run the Coogan’s Shamrocks, Salsa, and Blues 5k every year since 2009 as it’s usually the first scoring race for New York area running clubs and it’s also a fun atmosphere. There are a bunch of bands playing music and everyone gets really into cheering. It’s a pretty hilly course and times are never super fast, but regardless of the hills I should have run faster than my time of 21:11 (6:50 pace).
There are a number of reasons why I didn’t run as fast as I would have liked. The first is that, unlike 2010 and 2011, I am training for a marathon this year. This means I’ve done less track work (speed!!) and focused more on miles and those pesky 18-20 mile runs. It’s not a secret – if you do speed work, you will get faster. If you skimp on intervals and tempo runs (ahem Megan 2012 ahem), you will not. So that’s probably 70% of the reason why this race was slow. You have to pick your battles and sometimes I only have the mental energy for either a long run or a workout. And with marathon training, the long run usually wins out. Ideal? No, obviously not, but alas I am not super runner woman. I’m going to attribute the other 30% of why this race was bad to chance. Remember back in August when I ran a really crappy 5-mile race? It sucked, but then a month later I ran a half marathon at basically the same pace and it felt a lot easier. Sometimes race day just isn’t your day and with all that’s happened this week (oh good bye job…) my head was not 100% in the racing game. This wasn’t a goal race and I got in a good workout, so I’m not going to dwell too much on why I didn’t run faser. Onwards and upwards!
Last week was a bit of a step back week (52 miles total, long run of 12 miles), but this upcoming week will be more intense. Here’s the plan:
Monday, March 5 – 5.5 mile recovery run, strength training (abs, lunges, push-ups).
Tuesday, March 6 – 11.5 miles total, including 8 x 400m at 5k pace w/ 200m recovery (96, 95, 96, 94, 94, 93, 92, 93). I did these by myself with a bit of a headwind, so I’m pretty pleased with the times. I stayed close to goal 5k pace (no faster), so that my legs will still have a little somethin’ in them for Thursday’s workout. Also, can I just say that I felt a little crazy running 400m intervals by myself in the middle of desolate Red Hook track complex? The only people I encountered were a few elderly men and they gave me some strange looks. Mid-day track workouts are definitely one of the perks of being unemployed, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.
Wednesday, March 7 – 8 miles a.m., 3 miles p.m., strength training.
Thursday, March 8 – 6 miles morning, 10 miles evening including THE BEAST ( 8 mile tempo run with the CPTC crew – first 4 miles at marathon pace, next 4 miles at half marathon pace). We do this workout a few times a year and while it’s tough, I secretly like it. Long, grinding efforts are what I’m good at. Also, I realize how crazy that sounds.
Friday, March 9 – 6 miles, as easy and SLOW as possible.
Saturday, March 10 – 20 miles (will attempt to get progressively faster if I feel good).
Sunday, March 11 – 7 mile, recovery run.
Total: 77 miles (subject to change, obviously this is best case scenerio)
6 weeks until Boston and do I feel ready? No. And honestly, that is really scary. I don’t want to embarrass myself on race day! But you know what? I am going to try my best over the next 6 weeks and that’s all I can do. Worrying about missed tempo runs or slow races or comparing myself to other Boston racers is not going to be helpful. I need to focus on positive ways to improve rather than dwelling on the negative. Okay, self-pep talk over.
But speaking of pep talks – I really appreciated all of the kind words and encouragement that I received on my last post. Being laid off is not ideal, but I’m feeling really positive about how things are going to turn out.
I know these “vote for me!” requests are kind of annoying, but Fitness Magazine is holding a contest for the best healthy living/running/fitness blog and Runner’s Kitchen has been nominated. Help a girl out?
Finally, I have something fun to give away! My friend Kate started NaturaStride.com, a company whose mission is to provide distance runners and endurance athletes with organic and natural alternatives to performance nutrition products including energy bars, drinks, snacks, and other wholesome foods. There’s a new bar on the market called Kate’s Stash Bars. They have similar nutrition stats to a Clif bar, but extra goodies like flax and hemp seed. I have been eating one (or more) every day since I got my own box. They taste like a very seedy, nutty, yummy granola bar and unlike most energy bars, they don’t have added vitamins and minerals which I like because I feel that it gives the bar a weird aftertaste. In this give away, the winner will receive a case of 12 Kate’s Stash bars and a cool ThinkSport bottle. Yay, free stuff.
To enter the give away, leave me a comment telling me about your very first run. How far was it? Who were you with? Did running 1/2 mile make you want to keel over? Hearing about people became runners always makes me smile and I could use all the smiles I can get these days! I’ll choose a winner on Monday, March 12th.
And if you want to just go ahead and order some Stash bars, picky bars, etc. for yourself, you can get a 25% discount on the Naturastride site for the entire month of March if you use the promo code RUNNERSKITCHEN. I like discounts!