Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More Road Time But Less Miles Can Be Frustrating!

With the month of January complete, I compiled my January running stats and found the following...

Miles: 110.54
Time: 22 hrs, 24 min
Gear: 3 pairs of running shoes used (1 racing worthy pair of Brooks Ghosts, 1 pair Ghosts for training, 1 pair Saucony Triumph for short training runs because they are still new but I'm not lovin' them)
Maintenance: 3 chiropractor appointments, 1 ice bath (my first ever ice bath)
Races: 3 half marathons (2:29, 2:36, 2:31), 1 new half PR
Days: Ran 29 of 31 days - Running streak didn't begin until Jan. 5 (Jan. 31 was Day 27 of the streak)

So this leaves me with 389.5 miles to my goal of 500 miles by June 30th!  22% of the way there!  And I'm 3 half marathons of the way to my "10 halfs in '10" goal! 30% of the way there!

As other friends were also posting their stats on Facebook and Twitter, it reiterated something I already knew in my heart but thought I ought to consciously revisit.  For the number of miles I'm running on average, I definitely seem to be one of the slower ones out there.  I saw runners with 100-150 miles for the month but all had total running time of 3-4 hours less than my time.

I try not to compare my running pace to others - I know that I'm not genetically or biomechanically blessed to be a natural 8-9 minute per mile runner.  I may someday reach that point, but it's going to take a lot of hard work to get to that day, and so, yeah, it's frustrating sometimes when someone goes and does their first half marathon, sometimes on not too much training, and runs it at a 9 minute pace.  Grrr.  But back on topic, it's continually frustrating when I hear someone going out each morning to run 10 miles before their work because I know they run a 7 minute mile, so it's only a little more than a 1 hour workout!  Because if I'm going to go run 10, I'm basically blocking out 2 hours!

I was already proud of my biggest running month ever and of getting over 100 miles in a month. But now I realize I should be more proud of that 22 1/2 hours number than the miles run. Because as a mom of a 2 year old, this is a hard number to reach!  So here's to all the runners like me who are working hard to put in the time... and recognizing that sometimes that's just as important as the quantity of miles!


  1. You have some amazingly good points here. I'll admit to being one of those faster people you refer to, but I also recognize the ability that YOU have, which is a lot of fortitude, desire, and determination. You have a TWO year old, and getting yourself out running with a toddler's demands is HARD. I'm bowing down to you, my dear, for making the effort!!!

  2. Congratulations on a great running streak, Libby! Like you, if I plan a 10 mile run, that will be 2 hours of my time. I use the MacMillan calculator to determine how fast my training run and long run paces should be. I usually run 10-10:20 minute miles at races, 11:00 minute miles in training runs, and 12:00 minute miles for the long runs. In addition to my turtle-like pace, I have 3 kids (ages 5, 4, and 2) to take care of, so time is precious.

    You're doing a great job, keep up the good work!

  3. You rock! The only way to get faster is to keep at it. I don't think running a half in 2.5 hours is any less of an accomplishment than running it faster - you still did all those miles!

    Honestly, I'm making HUGE strides in decreasing my pace by doing less running overall, but every mile is pushing the pace HARD. I only run 3x per week (and NEVER on consecutive days), but each workout pushes me to the limit. It works for me better than slogging through a bunch of miles where my legs just felt tired on each one. Then again, some people say they just don't feel right unless they're running most days, so different strokes for different folks.

  4. Being a runner is funny. On one hand, I large part of this world thinks you are crazy for running a half marathon (or 3!). On the other hand, there are always people doing more than you are, or running faster. I consider myself a decent runner, but I know if my brother decided tomorrow to run a marathon, he would beat my PR the first time out! Frustrating.

    What we as runner's must keep telling ourselves is that we are only competing against the runner we were yesterday. As long as we keep lacing them up and achieving OUR goals, we are successful. Keep running. I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog this week!

  5. Not only that, but my friend Derek has a theory that slower runners are also working harder from a "time on feet" aspect. In other words, just walking around at the mall for 2 1/2 hours is way more tiring than walking for 1 1/2 ... so automatically a 2:30 half-marathon is way tougher than the race for the person running 1:30. :-)

  6. Thanks, all!
    * "Wanger" makes a great point too!
    * Joe, thanks for finding my blog and adding a comment.
    * Quix, I actually did the same thing for getting faster all through the hot Texas summer last year and it did help a lot, took about 12 minutes off my half time. It taught my internal engines to get in tune with the pace ie cardio and pulmonary systems. This is a different method I'm trying because I noticed that the first method only got me so far and then it was coming down to tired legs 8 miles into a race.

    Everyone, I truly do appreciate the comments. This blog is so helpful for me to talk out what I'm thinking so every run can teach me a lesson, and your comments help immensely!

    Happy Running!