Week 5: Half-marathon update

A very rain-soaked road race on the 4th of July!

This week was yet again another amazing week of training. I ran my first official road race and my longest run yet! I logged just about 19 miles this week- same total as last week, different way of adding it up.

Monday night I did a tempo run at the local track. Instead of doing my normal tempo run, I used “run interval” mode on the Run Keeper app on my iPhone. It had me run a total of 2 miles with 400-meter sprints mixed with slow running. It went really well and I ran my fastest pace at 7:32/mile.

I rested on Tuesday and did some yoga in the morning to stretch. On Wednesday, I ran my very first road race. I know this is kind of weird because I’ve been blogging about running since March but this was my very first race. It was so great (besides the fact that it was pouring)! I finished the 4-miler in 37:16 with an average pace of 9:20 which I was pretty pleased with, given the conditions.

I gave myself a total rest day on Thursday and then ran an early morning run on Friday. I wanted to test my speed especially after the race so I decided to do a 2.5-mile run around my neighborhood. I was SO excited when I came back and checked Run Keeper to see that I ran my first mile in 6:30. That was the fastest mile I have EVER run! I was so excited to see how much my work has really paid off! The one criticism I have of this run is I wish I could have done a negative split, that is running faster in the last half of the run than the first. I’m going to try to work on that in the next few weeks.

2.5 miles- average pace- 8:27, fastest pace- 6:30

Saturday was my long run day, a full 10 miles. This is the longest I have ever ran and I have to say it was my most fulfilling run yet! I ran a total of 10.26 miles in York, Maine with my cousin Paige who is also training for the half-marathon with me. Our route was pretty hilly but we were unafraid, I was even really, really excited!

Map of the 10.26 mile route.

The run was fantastic! We decided to go at an easy, what I like to call “conversational” pace. This means while running, you’re able to hold a conversation with someone without getting winded. We thought we were going pretty slow but turns out our average pace was 8:41/mile, a faster average pace than I had ever done. We finished the run in 1 hour, 29 minutes and 3 seconds. The craziest part was our fastest pace was 4:51/mile! What!?!? When I looked at the breakdown, mile by mile of our run, I couldn’t believe how well we did. We peaked at mile 8, when we ran it in 6:36 and ran our fastest pace of 4:51. In total, almost all of our miles were sub-9:00 besides the 6th mile where we had our steepest incline.

10.26 mile run: average pace- 8:41, fastest pace- 4:51.

After this week’s training I am a full believer in the biggest you can dream, you can make it happen. Four months ago I could barely run a mile without feeling like I was going to fall over and die. Now, I feel like I can go forever and I’m just getting faster. More than anything, it makes me so happy. I hope everyone else had a good week of training. Happy running!

On the run: 4 on the Fourth

On the 4th of July, there’s a race held in York, Maine (where my family vacations and practically my home away from home), every year. It’s called the Four on the Fourth and it’s a 4-mile run starting at the high school, looping around and eventually coming down the road that runs parallel to the ocean.

I had always wanted to do the race but never did because I wasn’t a runner. This year was different. This year I was a runner so I registered for the race. The Four on the Fourth was also my first “official” race that I’ve run, even though I’ve been training hard other races for a few months.

I was very excited for this race, so much so that I couldn’t really sleep the night before and woke up before my alarm. When I got up, I looked out the window and saw it was raining. Crap. I knew that would slow down my pace and affect my finish time but there’s no getting in the way of mother nature.

I was running the race with my cousin, Paige, who’s also been training for the half with me, my friend, Lindsay, and my Uncle Joe. We are all at different levels in our running- Paige is all about speed, I’m more about distance, Lindsay is a 5-k runner and my Uncle is a recreational runner. I decided to stick with Lindsay throughout the run to keep pace with her because it was her first 4-miler.

As we stood at the start line and the national anthem was sung, the rain started coming down harder. We were already there so there was no turning back now. The gun shot and we were off. The first two miles went really well but as we turned onto the ocean road, the rain was literally pelting us in the face. In fact, it was kind of hard to see. But as we passed the 3-mile marker, Lindsay looked at her watch and realized we were really going at a good pace. As we approached the corner to turn into the final half mile my whole family was on the corner cheering for us and I got a burst of energy. I came in to the finish line with a final time of 37:16 which I was really pleased with given the conditions.

As many of you who may read my blog often know, I’m currently training for a half-marathon at the end of September. My training has been going pretty great and I’ve been working hard on increasing my mileage and increasing my speed. Part of the latter of that plan is including “tempo” runs in my weekly workout. I definitely attribute these runs to my final time at the Four on the Fourth. I did a tempo run last week and ran my fastest pace yet at 7:32.

It’s hard to believe that only four months ago I could barely run a mile and now I’m running more than I could have imagined and absolutely loving it. It sounds so cliche but if you believe in yourself, you really can accomplish anything.