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.

Virtual 5k

With all the races being cancelled due to the coronavirus I joined the Run4prs virtual 5k this weekend. I had been training for a 5k for March 28th so was excited to see if I could improve my time. I chose a course where I previously ran 23:51. My plan was to get up early and treat this like any other 5k. But when I saw the weather I noticed the temps in the afternoon would be perfect!

So I drove up to where I was going to run about noon. I did a mile warm up and got mentally ready. How weird that even though I was all by myself, I still got pretty nervous. I just wanted to do good and see some progress. I started off on a slight downhill. I checked my watch and it showed a 6:40 pace. Little too fast! I backed off some to a 7:05. I was feeling great! But in the back of my mind I knew I could not hold this pace. I slowed down some and held it at 7:15, which was my first mile time. Huge mistake I felt going into mile 2, my heart rate started going up fast and I barely held onto a 7:31 pace. Mile 3 I knew I just had to power through, part uphill had me at a 8:45 pace, but my sprint downhill brought the mile time to a 7:45. Total I finished with a 23:15, which is my fastest road race in about 10 years!

On April 4th Run4prs has organized another virtual race. This time it’s a 10k!! Click on this link to join