Last week was my eighth week of 10k training, which means I’ve 2/3 of the way there! I’ve been away from the blog for a while; here’s what I’ve been up to exercise-wise:
I only have a month left until my 10k, which seems really soon and really far away at the same time. I’ve done really well with my running and am quite proud of myself. I’ve followed my running plan (haven’t skipped any runs!), and my pace has been consistent with an upward trend. I’ve had a few bad runs, but the overwhelming majority have left me feeling fantastic.
With four weeks to go until my race I’m getting slightly nervous. I think I may have overdone the how many weeks I needed to train – eight weeks probably would have been enough. That being said, running is a huge mental game for me. My legs are a lot stronger than I ever expected – I just need to make sure I remember that!
Looking back, I can’t believe four weeks have already gone by since I started training for my 10k race! I’ve accomplished a lot in that time period, and I still have two thirds of my plan left. I’m pretty sure I’m going to rock the Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis 10k.
Run 1: 3 miles @ 11:21 min/mi pace
My first run of the week was great! My Saturday rest day combined with an easy walk on Sunday made my legs feel really fresh, so I decided to push myself to see what I could do. I ended up running 1.5 miles, walking for a few minutes, and running the remaining 1+ mile. Three miles in 34:04! That turned out to be an average 11:21 min/mi pace, my fastest pace to date! It was a great run, and I felt extremely accomplished.
Run 2: 3.01 miles @ 11:25 min/mi pace
After my stellar performance on Monday I decided to try and push my endurance a little bit more on Wednesday. I went a little slower and ran two continuous miles! I walked for a few minutes, then finished out my three miles strong. Another great run, another great feeling! Running two miles was a little tougher for me, so I definitely had to play some mind games with myself. I told myself I would run for a mile, then another five minutes. Since I was almost to two miles I needed to go for it, I told myself. Sometimes that’s what you have to do.
Run 3: 4.01 miles @ 11:03 min/mi pace
My long run of the week was incredible. The theme of the week seemed to be endurance, and I couldn’t let myself down on my last run. I ran all four miles without any walk breaks and averaged my fastest time yet! What an amazing feeling – I’ve never run four miles straight without any walk breaks. I know I’m going to reach my goal of running my entire 10k in two months, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue my training!
I continued with my yoga practice this week as well. Tuesday was all about stretching out running muscles, while Thursday was full of deep stretches. It was just what I needed. I can definitely tell that yoga has helped the performance of my muscles, and I intend on keeping it up. I’ve been trying to incorporate more yoga into my weekly routine but haven’t been too successful so far. Four weeks of running and yoga has been great to me.
Here’s a cool little graph I’ve been keeping with my min/mi pace. I’ve normalized the times so they don’t include any warm up or cool down walks. My Friday runs are consistently my fastest runs, while I seem to take things easier on Wednesdays. While it seems silly, seeing this information laid out makes me that much more excited about running! My progress has been better than I imagined after only a month.
A few weeks ago I began my 10k journey. I created my own 10k training plan using Jeff Galloway and Jenny Hadfield 10k guides as my inspiration. It’s been three weeks of training now and I haven’t managed to follow my own plan for even one week yet! I could give all the excuses, but it comes down to two things:
It’s too hot to run outside
Since I can’t seem to get four runs in during the week, I’m going to tweak my training plan. I’m only going to require three runs per week, with my Sunday run optional. If I don’t run on Sunday I’ll still have to do at least 30 minutes of cardio, but I’m tired of beating myself up over not getting all my runs in. I’ll be shifting most of my long runs to Friday, which is my favorite day to hang out in the gym.
My runs this week all felt really good. My 4 mile run on Friday was awesome! After my warmup I ran one mile/walked five minutes three times, hitting the four mile mark. I was disgustingly sweaty after I was finished, but I felt great. I’m not worried about my 10k at all. I’ve got two more months of training; I’m going to kick ass!
My second week of training was definitely better than my first. I managed to get three of four runs in.
I skipped my Wednesday run in favor of a walk; I hadn’t slept well and was having trouble staying awake without the wonderful aid of coffee. There was no way I would have been able to run and stay awake for the rest of the afternoon.
My Sunday long run was rough. Once I convinced myself to get out of bed (an hour later than I had planned), I skipped breakfast and went straight for the run. Big mistake. Half a mile in I started getting lightheaded, felt weak, and started cramping. Apparently I should not run on an empty stomach! I had already suspected this, but had never confirmed it. Now I have proof I needed to fuel before any run. This was an uncomfortable lesson to learn, but I’d rather find out now than right before my race. Fortunately, thanks to most of my runs being pre-lunch, I know a packet of oatmeal 20-30 minutes before my run is all I need for a 3 mile run. I’ll have to see what I require for my longer runs.
My first 10k training week was all about balance. This weekend I experienced how tough balancing fitness plans and a social life really is. You see, in the year that I’ve lived in St. Louis I haven’t had the best luck with making friends. This weekend we had some college friends from out-of-town stay with us for a wedding they were attending. Additionally, after my husband’s bicycle race we hung out (and drank lots of beer) with some of his new friends. I had a great time, but I ended up skipping my Sunday run this week. I failed at finding balance this week.
I already have a difficult time motivating myself to run on Sundays. During the week I run on my lunch break, but I’ve always felt like weekends are for lounging and friends. This mindset is obviously going to have to change. Skipping this week’s Sunday run is okay since it was only a two miles and I have a decent base, but I’m going to have to be more dedicated in the future. I can already tell finding balance between fitness and friends is going to be an ongoing struggle.
Despite my failure this week I am more excited than ever about my upcoming 10k. Life is going to get in the way no matter what, and I still squeezed in my week day runs without issue. I have some weekends coming up where I’ll be out-of-town, and I’ll be able to prepare for running interruptions by tweaking my schedule just a little bit.
Speaking of being out-of-town, I managed to double book myself over my race weekend! I was initially quite upset about this, but was able to find a different 10k to run the next weekend. Instead of the GO! St. Louis Halloween 10k I’ll be running the Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis 10k. While I’m not quite as enthusiastic about my new race (no Halloween costumes!), I know it will be a good time. I’ve done several events in the Rock ‘n’ Roll series before, and will just have to wait until next year to run in the GO! St. Louis Halloween race.