Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Don't give up on "the plan" to early in a run!

(This is a sunflower that I planted from a seed @ the end of March) It makes me happy each time I walk out in the yard. Pretty!

Today the plan was a 12 mile progression run. I wanted to start out at 10:00 pace for the first 3 miles. (Let me just stop here and say - this is hard for me. I like to run even pace runs which typically turn out to be a little too fast in the beginning and too slow in the end.) The next 3 miles @ 9:30 pace, next 3 @ 9:00 and the final 3 @ 8:45 pace. Normally, when I start out I intend to start out around 9:00 minute, but I feel so good it turns into 8:45 or a little faster. So today, I use the Garmin to really stick with the plan for today. So, I am running and I am into the 2nd, 10:00 min. mile, and I am thinking 10:00 min. mile really should be any effort, this is not good. Immediately, I start thinking I will need to adjust my plan, there is no way I will be able to do the quicker times, if 10:00 is already an effort. I stop at 3 miles to hydrate (4-5 ounces of H2O). I start back and I am thinking, I will give this a try, but I really don't think it's going to work today. I am thinking it's the humidity (94% - 75 degrees and 82 degree real feel temp. @ 5:30 am). So I pick it up to 9:30, start feeling a little better, and now I'm thinking it's just 3 miles, I can at least do the 3 @ 9:30. I finish this part right on pace. (@ 5.5 miles I take a Gu gel so when I get to my water stop @ 6 miles, I will be finished with the gel, 4-5 ounces of water and pour the rest down my arms, refreshing.) By now I am feeling ok. I think I can run the next 3 @ the planned 9:00. No problem - get to my next stop which is Gatorade 3-4 ou./water 3 ounces and pour the rest down my arms. Now the challenge. The last part of my run is always a challenge for me. First of all, I'm just weak at the end of my long runs. I am just now, beginning to realize this is a mental thing more than a physical thing. The other problem is during the last 2 miles of this run, 1.5 of the 2 miles is up hill. So I am weak, and now I have to run up hill for a long time. Yikes! I wanted to do this segment at 8:45. During the run, I did adjust this part, and I committed to trying to run just under 9:00, for the last 3 miles. I was able to do the adjusted plan, for 2 out of the 3 miles - 8:50, 9:05, and 8:56.

So the reminder for the day, is just because you feel bad, don't give up on the run or the plan too early. Yes, some days you do truly need to adjust a run, but most of the time if we push through a short period of time, we start to feel better. First get out the door, go for 1-2 miles and then decide. Same thing during a training run. If you would have asked me in the 2nd mile today, how I would finish this run, I would have said 10:00 miles the whole way. Instead, I ran the first 6 in 58:38, and the 2nd 6 miles in 54:10. Ok, so I didn't do the last phase exactly as planned, but I didn't go to 10:00 miles either, so today..... A GREAT Run! I am happy with it. My pace averaged out to 9:24 for the 12 miles. (this does not include my water stop time).

I have mentioned before how important input from others is so helpful for training. When I was working on "the training plan" for St. George, I was talking with Amber about it, and she recommended to try to focus on finishing my runs a little faster. "Even if it's just the last half mile, or last mile, really try to pick it up." I took that advice to heart, and I am working on it. So far, I haven't really picked it up too much at the end of my long runs, but I have maintained my pace, which is new for me. Normally by the end of my runs I am falling off the pace really bad for the last 2 miles. For my last 2 long runs - the final 2 miles - I was right on race pace. I think this will be an important part of my mental training for marathons. Typically, it's the last 6 that "get me." I am hoping training to finish with a little more quality will help me at the end of my next marathon. Thanks Amber!

It's really funny how you say things to people and you never really know how it will impact them or motivate them, or challenge them to a new level. That is partially why I started this blog. I hope that some time, some where along the way, someone else will find motivation, a tip, something that will spark them to the next level.

This little bird must have some babies nearby. It keeps sitting on the rail and tweeting at my "Little Cat." As you can see, she is so concerned. This is just outside my embroidery shop (Always In Stitches) which is across the driveway from my house (love that).


N.D. said...

You did a great job holding the paces so closely! I have definitely had runs like you had where I didn't think I could do it early on and stuck with it. Sometimes it is hard! and I have the same problem with starting out fast and progressively getting slower. IT is great you are working on that!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Thanks N.D - so many things to work on. It's hard to figure out what to concentrate on. I really like technical runs though. For me, if I am running solo, it gives me something to concentrate on and it's an additional challenge. I like that!

Donna said...

Love this one...I may have to post that last part on my refrigerator..."just because you feel bad, don't give up on the run or the plan too early". That may just get me out the door!