new Evolution of a Fan Girl post up on the Oiselle Blog! check it out –>
* * * *
Yesterday kicked off what I’m considering my “official” training for the Carlsbad Half on January 19th, which if you’re not looking at a calendar, is 10 weeks away. Typically I’d like to go into a shorter cycle like this with a more solid base (weekly mileage 25+, strong core, sound diet, etc), but this time I’ve got something a little different going for me:
A fire under my ass.
That’s not a real tangible asset to catapult head-first into a plan of track workouts, hill repeats, and hard running focused on PR’ing the 13.1, but I’m letting go of some of my Type A and counting on that spark to lead my efforts. I’m getting to the point in my running where huge PRs are going to be hard to come by, and each round of hard work will (likely) be rewarded with shaving seconds, maybe minutes, from previous times.
Not only does this mean I’m going to have to work harder to reap rewards, but I’ll also have to work smarter. Keeping my head screwed on straight, learning from the past, and staying hungry.
(metaphorically, of course, as I am a supporter of keeping the #runger fed and at bay)
This got me reflecting on the great/awful races of my past – strong finishes, lost mental battles, huge PRs, admitting defeat to injury, not taking running too seriously… Looking at what went wrong, what worked, and what I could do this go-round to improve.
I’ve come up with Rule #1, of an in-the-works Training Credo, in an attempt to set this cycle off on the right foot.
Look Forward, Not Backward.
Surface meaning: keep your eyes up, you’re passed due for a fall.
Deeper/Emo meaning: I’m sick of fearing the disappointment that comes with sizing my current self up to my old self. It’s so easy to look at the stats from last year’s 8×800 and freeze up under the pressure of trying to match them. To compare how easy 8:00 pace used to feel compared to the huff-puffing I’m doing now. To wonder how the hell I’ll ever run a 6:50 pace for 3.1 straight miles again.
So the next 10 weeks I’ll focus on my process of getting back in shape. Instead of looking at this cycle’s Week One vs another cycle’s Week One, I’m going to focus on Week Two vs Week One. Three vs Two. Measuring progress and seeing gains towards my Carlsbad goal, rather than how far I am from my Personal Best self.
I know, I know, it’s totally genius. Nobody has ever thought this way before. Total new age.
Luckily this all came to me Saturday night, right before Sunday’s Race for the Rescues 10k which I was kind of dreading. I was recalling the pain from Cleveland, imagining how tough it was going to be, picturing myself slogging through those last few miles gasping for air and praying for death. And even though logically I knew I wasn’t in shape to go for a PR, the thought of posting a “slow” time made me not want to run at all.
don’t RACE rundies get everyone excited to run? ps got to see the new Randies this weekend – suuuuper cute. (hint hint, santa…)
But I told myself it would be a good measuring tool for this training cycle. I’d use the time as base-level data (oh come on, I can’t totally un-Type-A), and after a few weeks of hard workouts it’d be exciting to race it again to see how far I’ve come.
And guess what? Duh duh duhnnnn… it worked.
Katrina Parker from s2 of The Voice throwing down a kick ass anthem
Race for the Rescues was a great event – mostly because of all the cute dogs everywhere – but also because I let myself enjoy the race instead of stressing it. I went in without a time expectation, the only plan to run the first 5k controlled and leave enough in the tank for a hard final mile. Whatever that time amounted to would be fine with me.
more Garmin data if you’re into that sorta thing…
I ran most of mile two with a tiny little 5k’er who was dead-set on not letting me pass her. Instead of getting aggravated at her leapfrogging (shhh don’t call me a horrible person) I ran next to her and tried to help push her along. I fell into an easier coasting pace when the crowd thinned for the second lap but didn’t fret the lost time when I saw the slower split at the 4 mile marker. I smiled at the leashed dogs in the walkers crowd, rather than getting angry at them clogging up the course (the race WAS for them, afterall.) I didn’t whine about the “long” course even though my average pace at 6.2 miles would’ve been within seconds of a PR, because that wasn’t the purpose of the race. I wanted to run hard, smart, and enjoy myself, which I did.
(My pal Annette – who placed 3rd overall, btw nbd – talked to RD and he acknowledged a last-minute alteration could’ve screwed up the actual distance. The bones we throw (ha pun) for inaugural events)
lead dog must’ve run a 23-ish 5k, and a thirsty pup mid-race (from Rescue Train’s FB)
Race for the Rescues OC 10K, 11.10.13 – :48.50
I had a great great time and am (most importantly) really looking forward to getting underway with training. Now to find a mid-season re-test race…
And if you’re wondering, yes I was able to restrain myself at the adoption parade, despite instagram leading you to think otherwise.