In the best shape of my life

This last Saturday I ran my fastest 10K EVER! For years I’ve thought that I just wasn’t good at running and don’t have talent to truly be good. I figured out in the last couple of months that I was totally wrong all these years. I’ve just been doing it all wrong!!

For this 10k, I didn’t even train.. I mean I’ve been running 45-50 mile weeks, but no specific 10k training. I decided to do it to have guideline for training paces since my marathon training starts this week. When I got to the starting line Saturday I planned on starting out at 7:45 pace and just take it a little faster each mile. Instead I ran the first mile at 7:30 and decided to stick around that pace. I ended up running the whole thing even (which I never normally do 😅) and ran a 46:09!!

In 2020 I decided to qualify for Boston and I’m slowly getting closer and closer. I ran this same 10k in 2019 and ran a 50:19. That’s over 4 minutes faster!

In 2020 I read every blog I could and listened to so many podcast to figure out how to get faster. Here’s what I’ve done so far (I’m not done, but for the people who are where I was)

⁃ upped my mileage from 15-25 miles per week to 50 per week

⁃ Ran 80 percent of my runs 2-3 mins slower than 5k pace!!! Very important!!

⁃ The last month I’ve tried to get more sleep (this needs work 😜)

⁃ Started doing strength training 3/4 times per week during lunch

⁃ I do 1-2 workout runs per week.

⁃ Swap out shoes during the week

I’m listening a lot to the Run4prs podcasts, they have such great tips on their Instagram pace!! Just seeing the progress of the athletes they coach have made me feel like it’s possible for me to qualify for Boston.

The last time I ran anything even close to this 10k was back in 2008, a 46:12. I never got close after that cause I started running all my mileage as fast as I could in college. I also worked full time and went to school so never ever got enough sleep. I got sick every month and only got slower race times. Believe me, if I can get a PR at 31 after already been running since I was 17, you can do this too!!! You don’t need talent, just a lot of hard work.

There’s never a good time for running. There’s never a time where I’m like, “oh I guess I could go run now.” My schedule is always packed, even with me not having kids(which I often hear as an excuse), My life is very full. I’ve been working 45-50 hours a week. This means I get up at 3-4 in the morning and run in the dark, or run after work, also partly in the dark. Your schedule will never just free up for you to “have” time to run, you have to “make” time to run. It all just depends on how bad you want to reach your goals.

Faster than ever!

Breaking 4 hours in the marathon at the end of January got me even more excited and determined that I can and will qualify for the Boston marathon. During my week off I purchased “Faster Road Running” by Pete Pfitzinger. Since the plans in his “Advanced Marathoning” book worked so well, I decided to stick with what works. Having a couple 5k’s on the calendar I figured I’d start there. I was on the training week where there was supposed to be a practice 5k and ran one in Frisco, Texas with my best friends Stephanie and Angel.

To my surprise I ran a 22:05 for this 5k!!! tying my PR from 2008!!! I couldn’t believe it! And still am questioning, since the course was short according to my watch. But I will take it! Since the beginning of this training block I’ve been averaging about 45-50 miles per week and doing 1 workout per week with intervals and 1 with 100 meter strides. The rest of the mileage I take it pretty easy, except for a general aerobic run, where I run a little bit slower than tempo pace, but not too fast to get tired. For me, that is about a 8:45-9 min mile pace.

This past weekend I decided to sign up for a 10 mile race close to home, in Mooresville, Alabama. It was the prettiest little town! The post office there is the oldest post office still in use in Alabama, dating back to the 1800’s. I went into this race thinking that since I almost beat my 2008 5K PR the week before, maybe I could break my 2008 10 mile PR? I didn’t put too much thought into it, since I didn’t tell anyone about the race, and honestly didn’t think I could do it.

I warmed up for a mile and got to the wave start. My starting group had all (fast looking) men and one other woman. I immediately stayed back with the other woman, but noticed our pace was 8:30.. this would not get me to break my 1:20:30 record. I picked it up to an 8 min mile pace and stuck with the group of men. This made me nervous, cause there’s no way I could keep up with these guys right? The pace felt easy, but that has tricked me before. I decided if I’d still feel this good at mile 5, I would push the pace to a 7:55 from there to finish. From mile 2 to 3, my watch pinged a mile about 2 minutes before the 3 mile marker. I immediately knew with this 2 min error, I had no change for a PR. I should just relax and enjoy this pretty route. But then I thought.. well, I feel great, so lets pick up the pace instead, maybe I can still do it. I picked up the pace to run in the 7:40s. By mile 4 the course had corrected. (my guess the wind blew over the mile marker and someone just put it back where it ended up) I was feeling great still, so kept my pace. By mile 8 I felt like I was flying, my legs were moving fast and I still didn’t feel like I couldn’t breathe. The last mile I picked it up to 7:20 pace. That got me! but who cares, I was almost there. I flew (what I felt like) through the finish line with a new shiny PR of 1:17:30!!!

None of my miles even hit 8 minutes! I cannot explain how good it feels to see my hard work over the past year pay off. It has taken 1 year and 3 months of consistency and discipline to see progress I want to see. I’m so excited to see how much faster I can get.