Monday, June 22, 2009

Ready to Complete One New Year's Resolution...But This Weather!

So I've been training hard the last few weeks. My big goal is to break 2 1/2 hours in the half marathon (11:30 pace, for a gal who currently runs a half at a 12:30 pace... eek!). Today the training schedule had me doing 3 miles at around a 10:45 pace. Before the run, I'm not convinced I can sustain that. I take it back - I'm definitely thinking I can't do that! My training partner for the night has a minor injury so calls me and has to cancel her participation. Great. Now I really won't have the motivation to push myself to keep the pace on target...

I head out the door at 7:30. It's around 95 degrees outside. Uck!
I nail the first mile and I actually feel really good. 10:38 on the first mile.

Halfway through the first mile, I start having that brain spasm that says "Just walk, you know you want to." This was part of the reason I could never get faster before. Because I would let myself periodically give up and walk.

I push on and hit the main big hill in my neighborhood. Up up up the hill. I finish the mile. 10:38 for the second mile. Awesome. Spot on.

Third mile I'm really wanting to give up and walk. The slight breeze that kept me feeling pretty good has completely disappeared.

I always hear other runners talk about how they feel like they can't breathe in this heat. Instead, I feel this intense heat building inside my head and feel like my whole brain is catching on fire ... but I can breathe just fine. :-)

I never take a walk break on this third and last mile, but I allow myself to slow down and trudge on. I've been trying so hard not to shuffle my feet like I tend to if I'm a little tired, but I'm occasionally hearing that whissh whissh ... whissh whissh of my soles skimming the ground. I pick up my legs and manage to stop the shuffling each time I start. I finish the third mile with an 11:11.

So 10:38, 10:38, 11:11 - total of 32:27 or a 10:49 average. While that wasn't 3 miles right around 10:45, it works out pretty close in the end.

The bigger news is the confidence boost this gives me. Another New Year's Resolution, besides breaking 2:30 on the half marathon, is to break 32 minutes at the 5K distance. I started the year with a PR of 35 1/2. I had an amazing, can't-understand-how-I-did-that 5K in February where I took more than 3 minutes off my PR and brought it down to 32:19. But it was a nice temp out (February) and an evening race (which appears to be a faster time for me than morning). Until the last couple weeks, I've consistently run 12-13 min/mi with occasional 11:30s so I have no clue where that February 5K time came from and really felt like it was a fluke... or a lucky day.

But now I'm feeling like I'm not having a fluke now. I'm actually getting faster and feeling stronger. And if I can run 3.0 in 32:27 in 95 degree heat, what can I run in 50 degree weather?

So here are my options...
  1. I have to work another month and a half and get much much faster to manage to break 32 minutes in the Texas summer heat,
  2. I can hold on to this speed level and the 32 minute time goal will probably happen on its own in the fall,
  3. Where's the coolest place we can get to within a day's drive and has a Sunday 5K coming up soon? Who's up for a roadtrip in the next few weeks? :-)


  1. Good for you, Libby, for hanging in there. I am shifting from walking to running right now, and find that my biggest challenge is learning to think of myself as someone who runs, instead of someone who walks, or someone who runs until they feel like they "have to" walk. Some people just run and don't think about walking. I am shifting my brain into knowing that I am one of those people. I think it is 90% mental... Hooray for are doing it!

  2. Go Libby go. You are doing a great job. I am always up for a road trip!

  3. You can do it, Shirley! You know you are always welcome to come out to a weekend run - usually a couple of us are getting together to run. I'm poorly motivated to run on the weekend if it's just me.