Hi! Been a while! I went home up North last week and a good friend said, “it’s like you moved to Mars! How is it??” ahahahaha (Love you, Shelby!)
She was describing it like that in a good way, and I totally agreed with her. I moved to another planet to put my head down and work hard to get myself a new career! It’s been very busy, but not too busy to forget about my number one passion, which you all know is running. That being said, after that DNF at the Okanagan Marathon and finally addressing my IT band syndrome, I definitely haven’t been running as much as usual. AND THAT’S OKAY! I can see that now. Lol. #olderandwiser
I used to have this serious fear of losing any of the fitness I worked so hard to accumulate over the two years I worked with Lifelong Endurance. Due to student life, I don’t have a coach right now, but turns out that’s totally fine during this piece of life. As runners, we gain more and more knowledge about the sport and training as we move along, gathering experience through training cycles, races, rest periods and injury, etc. That’s really cool, but I find it equally as interesting when I think about all that I DIDN’T know in the past, and how much I still have to learn. This rest period has given me the chance to really think about this.
One thing I thought I understood (but totally didn’t) and believed I was respecting (but wasn’t at all) is the need for adequate recovery. I’ve brought this up before and here we are again. I’m talking about both recovery within a training cycle, as well as recovery between cycles. That little set-back after the Ok Marathon was something I really needed. Thanks, Universe! It’s also given me time to think about how fatigued I felt pretty much all the time when I was running six or seven days a week and how it really compromised the quality of my runs.
My fear of losing fitness left the building a while ago. Now that I’ve rehabbed my ITBS, taken it easy more than I have in years and done some planning with respect to my new life schedule, it’s go time. The concept of Start Where You Are is exciting, because I don’t really know.
After hearing my friend rave about the FIRST Run Less, Run Faster book and training program, I’ve decided to give it a try. If you aren’t familiar, this is a program based on three key workouts per week – a track workout, a tempo run and a faster-than-usual (for me) long run, and no other running. At least two cross-training sessions fill in the holes where easy running would usually be, and for me, it will be swimming and pool running. I think this will work perfectly with my schedule, and also being not-so-good at recovery runs. The three runs are pace-specific, based on one’s current fitness level. Which takes me back to the cliché quote “START WHERE YOU ARE.”
What is my current fitness level? I actually don’t know! The first thing that happened when I needed a “recent” 5k or 10k time to select target paces for the half marathon training plan was… my ego chirped in and started making suggestions as to avoid running a fitness test.
“that 10k PR was only eight weeks ago…bump it down a bit”
“You can definitely run faster than that 5k PR during that long run fast finish last year”
“use that 10k time from six weeks back, it wasn’t the best race so it’s not overly optimistic”
“just guess, your goals are based on much more than current fitness”
No, no, NO! I’ve raced one 5k in my life, and I haven’t raced whatsoever since Thanksgiving, which was long distance. I don’t have any idea of what a 5k race effort would be today and I haven’t done any fast running since September. I took a few weeks off completely for injury and since have been running two to three times per week (usually very slowly), eating shitty, and I’ve only done a couple of vertical training sessions with P.A.C.E. when it comes to workouts. Because I don’t want to set myself up for frustration, disappointment or emotional abuse from the inner critic (that dick), I am going to do this honestly.
There is a really good chapter in the book called Realistic Goals. It is fantastic. Some of the things touched on are why/how exactly we establish the unrealistic goals we often do, how to set a realistic goal based on current fitness, how we often undermine our results (even when they’re impressive) and why selecting arbitrary, round-number finish time goals can easily fuck us over. So good!
So, my first track workout tomorrow for Week 1 will actually be the suggested 3 x 1600 (plus rests, plus math formula) to get an estimate of a 5k race pace. I might surprise myself, or I could be like, oh fuck…way too many Halloween chocolate bars. Who knows. But I want to follow the training program properly, and there’s always the option to reassess along the way!
I’m stoked to hit the track tomorrow, find out where exactly I’m at, and start from there. Yahoo! Who’s planning for 2019? I plan to run First Half in Vancouver on February 10th, which is 13 weeks away, and the 10k at the Tenacious Ten in April in Seattle. That’s it for now! Hope you’re having an awesome Fall!