2016 Goals

After I finished my 10k in October I was listless.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my running, so I didn’t do anything at all.  That’s not to say I stopped running, but I cut back significantly since I had no drive.  To me it seems like most people who get into running continue doing longer, more difficult races.  I was not – and am still not – interested in the next race distance after a 10k, which would be a half marathon.  It’s not to say I never want to run one, but right now I’m not interested in running for two and a half hours in one go.  That’s a lot of running that I’m just not ready to do.

Since my running was very sporadic I knew I needed some kind of challenge to keep my fitness up.  I usually run three miles three times a week, and my annual average for 2015 was about 30 miles/month, although I didn’t start running again until mid-March.  30 miles/month running three miles each time averaged out to 10 runs, which was more than doable for me!  I had  my goal!  30 miles/month would challenge me to run continuously throughout the month, but it wasn’t an unreasonable or overwhelming amount.

January proved a little difficult, so I did have to kick up my running in the second half of the month.  February is going really well, and I feel really great – and exciting – about running again.

 

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10k Training Week 8: Feeling Good

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:

10k Training Plan Weeks 5-8

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.

Samantha or Sam Post-5 Mile Run
Post-5 Mile Run Exhaustion/Bliss

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!

Samantha or Sam's 10k Training:  Week 8 Overview

10k Training Week 4: Push it Good

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!

Yoga

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.

Samantha or Sam's 10k Training Week 4 Progress
Pace is on the left, while run number is on the bottom

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.

I’m very proud of myself.

10k Training Week 3: Throw Your Schedule Out the Window

Samantha or Sam's 10k Training Recap Week 3

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:

  1. It’s too hot to run outside
  2. I’m lazy

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!

Week 3 Training Breakdown

10k Training Recap Week 3

Samantha or Sam's 10k Training Plan Version 2

Running, Blogging, and a little bit of Yoga

I’ve started running again.  Actually, I started in running in March when, for the first time in my life, I had a required hour long lunch break and no idea how to spend it.  I pulled on my running shoes one fine afternoon and went for a run.  Just like that, I was once again a runner.

After a second run in my old running shoes it was clear I needed a new pair (my ankles were killing me!).  I headed to my local running store (Big River Running, for those in the St. Louis area) and had a fitting done.  I ended up purchasing a pair of Adidas, which was confusing but also very fortunate.  My shoes, the Adidas Supernova Glide 7, are the most comfortable pair of running shoes I’ve ever owned.  I’ll do a review on them in the future.

Since I started running with my new shoes in March I’ve put nearly 130 miles on them!  That’s a huge accomplishment for me, as I was never someone who ran regularly.  A few weeks ago I decided to begin training for a 10k happening in October – the GO! St. Louis Halloween 10k.  Having a goal has already motivated me!  I ran four miles this week, the most I’ve run since before my wedding and honeymoon, when I fell off the running horse for a good six weeks.

Oops.

Since I’m running again I figured I might as well blog about it.  I think it will help keep me accountable and interested in continuing my running journey.

In addition to running, I’ve also started practicing yoga again.  A coworker of mine recently earner her yoga teacher certification, and she does free classes twice a week.  While I’ve realized I’m not flexible at all, I’ve really enjoyed starting my practice again.  I feel exhausted but at peace after every class.  I forgot how much yoga really helps center me.

Thanks for taking the time to read, folks.  I plan to start blogging somewhat regularly again and hope you enjoy my posts!

Samantha or Sam Yoga