Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the holidays and were surrounded by those you love. I also hope your first miles of 2015 were blissful and strong. I ran 10 miles on January 1 to ring in the New Year and they couldn’t have gone smoother. As far as resolutions go, I haven’t set any concrete ones like “I want to set a xx:xx PR in 2015!” or “This will be the year I BQ!” While I think those kind of goals are great to have, I don’t know if they always work for me.
Instead, I have a few things I’d like to work on in terms of running this year.
- Get stronger with more consistent strength training.
- Get faster by doing more speed work.
- Fall in love with running again (I’ve been working on this since my disappointing run in Chicago).
- Run gadget-less more often.
- Have fun!
That’s it! Nothing too crazy, just a few goals to keep me on track this year. What are your running goals for 2015?
Last week I hit a new 5K training milestone – I ran six days and 40 miles total. I’ve hit 40+ miles before but that was always when I was training for marathons, definitely never for a 5K. It was the first time I’ve ever run six days in a week. Usually I run five days a week with one cross-training day and one full rest day.
I’ve added in more speedwork and a lot more strength and now I’m starting to see the changes. I’m seeing more definition in my legs than I’ve ever seen before. I’m feeling better and faster on easy runs. And paces that I once thought were impossible for me are starting to become more and more possible. So far, my personal little #5Krevolution is turning out even better than I had hoped!
Here we are, week 16 of training for the Chicago Marathon. In less than a week 45,000 runners will toe that starting line of a 26.2 mile journey through the Windy City. We’ve all been checking the weather reports religiously (obsessively) for the past week and it seems as though the weather keeps changing as much as our emotions. We’re nervous, excited, anxious, determined, but most of all we’re ready. Ready to tackle those dream-big goals. Ready to see what these 16 weeks have made us become. Ready to see how strong we are. Ready to see how brave we are.
I know I won’t be the only one standing on that starting line with sweaty palms, forcing the self-doubt out of my mind – I know I’ll be joined by 44,999 other runners battling the same doubts. But we’ve done the training. The 5 a.m. wake-ups. The 90 degree training runs. The endless 800m repeats, long runs, and easy recovery runs. The work is done, now it’s time to see what we’re made of.
Yesterday I had an incredible long run. I am nervous to even write about it in fear I’ll jinx future long runs but I can’t not write about it. I had 14 miles on my schedule and I was a little nervous since I had to skip my long run last weekend. This would be my longest run since training for the Marine Corps Marathon last summer and fall.
Turns out, a little rest was just what I needed because this run was fantastic. I managed 14 miles averaging my goal marathon pace (9:09/mile to break 4:00) with a “fast finish” for the last two miles. I couldn’t help but smile and laugh a little when I finished the run. Why was I so nervous? There should be absolutely zero pressure on long run days. You should run at a comfortable, maintainable pace.
For me, my goal marathon pace happen to be my comfortable pace this past Sunday. This doesn’t mean it’s going to be my long run pace for the rest of training but if anything, it shows I am getting stronger. Happy running this week!
I don’t know why but I loved this graphic when I saw it on Pinterest – for some reason it really resonated with me. I can be unapologetically lazy sometimes. I can also be very Type A. A weird combination, I know. I try to train by the book but sometimes, life gets in the way. I try to “X” off all of my training runs but some days the motivation is just not there. This happened to me yesterday when I skipped out on my long run because the weather was just unbearable. Maybe this wasn’t really lazy of me. Maybe it was the smart thing to do. But the Type A Hannah was reeling inside, worrying that missing a long run would mean my training would suffer. Truth is, we’re only three weeks into Chicago training and there’s plenty of time left until race day. My fitness won’t suffer this early on and skipping out on yesterday’s run might mean being about to nail all of my training runs this week. I’m still running, sometimes I just stumble a bit.
My running has been in a bit of a slump lately. If I’m being honest with myself, I think I’m out of shape. Since my bad race at the end of April, and the doctors appointments that followed (still trying to get that sorted out), I’ve had to take it easy. No speed workouts. No racing (although I did run our Heartbreak Hill Half which was a blast!). No pushing the pace whatsoever. I hate this! But with training for the Chicago Marathon starting in a week, now is not the time to push myself too hard and possibly get hurt.
During this “off” period though I’ve been able to get some other habits into place that I hope to continue with during Chicago training. I’ve been going to spin at least once a week and I’ve been running in the mornings. I’m learning to love my morning runs because it’s just so peaceful and the cooler weather doesn’t hurt. I’m loving spin because of the challenge it poses for me. I think I’ve needed these changes these past few weeks to get me more motivated to start training hard for Chicago. I know once I start my training plan I will be able to focus in and get inspired, but for now, I’m learning to love the process. Happy running this week!
I saw this graphic on Pinterest and thought it was a good reminder for this week as I await results from the doctors to find out what caused my chest pain at the half marathon about a month ago. I keep stressing about whether or not the results will allow me to continue to run (fast), how I will react to the news, and what my life would look like if I couldn’t run. But none of that is important right now. Someone once told me, “Worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet is just a waste of time.” And it’s true. So I’m going to relax and wait for the news but in the meantime I’m not going to worry, I’m going to just live.
In running, and life, there’s usually not a one-size-fits-all way to do things. One training plan that helped someone get a BQ won’t necessarily do the same for you. You have to make you own path to reach your goals because after all, no one knows you better than yourself. Happy running this week!
Yesterday I almost DNFed my first race. I’ve been training really hard to PR in the half marathon but yesterday, due to things totally out of my control, was just not my day. I was really disappointed. I even cried. But after a good night’s sleep I’m realizing, when you dream big, failure is sometimes part of the process of success.
I can’t believe Marathon Monday is already a week away. It certainly doesn’t feel like an entire years has passed since I spent 9+ hours in the press room following the horrific tragedy at the finish line. I still can’t really put into words how I feel about what happened that day. I joke that it feels like I’m giving an elevator speech every time I talk about it. But what I do know is that next Monday will be a great day for a race. It will be a great day for healing. And, it will be a great day for Boston. I want to wish the very best of luck to everyone in their final week of training (and tapering). I’m sending positive and calming vibes your way!