Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Right Stuff? (Half Marathon Training: Week 1)

Well, week 1 of Half Marathon training is in the books and I wish I could say it was a roaring success.   I suppose if you consider that I did complete all of the required runs and got my "miles" in (23.6 km to be exact), then the week wasn't a total disaster, but I seem to have lost my running "mojo" and I have no idea where it went or how to begin getting it back. 

The half marathon plan I have chosen to follow is 16 weeks long and doesn't leave a whole lot of room for slacking - as of Day 1 of this training program, my goal race (Toronto Island Girl Half Marathon) was exactly 16 weeks away!  AHHHHHH!

Day 1:   Scheduled Run:   4-6km "Casual Run" .   Actual Run: 4.01km, 7:08 mins/km.    This run was supposed to be slow and casual, and that's pretty much exactly what it was.   I hadn't eaten dinner yet when I went out, so I didn't push the distance too much.  At the time I thought the run felt difficult, but looking back on it, it was the best run of the week.

Day 2:  Interval training:  An important component of any training plan, interval training helps runners add speed to their distance.  I didn't know a lot about interval training other than you are supposed to run in shorts "bursts" at close to your maximum speed, and then slow down to slower than your usual race pace for a longer interval, and then repeat for 15-20 mins.   I decided I was going to alternate 30 second bursts of "speed" with 60 seconds of running at a more normal pace.  After the first set, I arrived at the conclusion that interval training is the enemy.  I managed to finish 17 minutes of intervals (2.44 km avg. pace 6:58 mins/km) and it was all I could do to make it home without
puking.   Must come up with something different for next week.....

Day 3:   Rest day.   One thing is for sure, I am a total ROCK STAR with rest days.   I bet no one does it better than me. 

Day 4:   Scheduled Run:   6km "Tempo Run".  Actual Run:  6.10km, 7:42 mins/km.    What happened to my pace????  ARGH!!!!  It was so cold and miserable outside, I decided to hit the Milton Indoor Track to get my run in.   I deliberately took it easy on this run just to make sure I could cover the distance, but I left this run feeling so incredibly discouraged.  Just a month ago I had managed a 6:48 min/km pace at the Goodlife 5K and I felt awesome, now here I was struggling through a SLOW 6k - almost 1 min/km slower!   Sigh.  

Day 5:  Scheduled Run:   5-7km "Casual Run".   Actual Run:  5km, 7:26 mins/km.  Overall, this run felt better than Thursday, but I'm still not in "the zone".   Another run at the Milton Indoor Track. 

Day 6:   Scheduled Run:  6-8km "Long Run"   I decided to bump my long run to today was another REST DAY!   

Day 7:   Scheduled Run:  6-8km "Long Run".  Actual Run:   6.06km, 7:37 mins/km.   This was, by far, the worst run of the week.   I had high hopes for this run - so high, in fact, that I had planned to run the suggested maximum 8k distance when I left the house.  I had eaten well all day and was very well hydrated - I was going to ROCK IT!   Shortly into the run, however, it became obvious there was going to be no "Rocking it" on this day.    As nice as it was to be running outside again, I left right when the sun was at its highest and the heat wreaked havoc on my energy levels.  I ran out of water after about 4k and I just couldn't turn off the negative inner monologue that had started in my head.  I had left my iPod at home (BAD IDEA!) so there was nothing to drown out the constant nagging of my inner voice telling me  "You're never going to be a Half Marthon Runner!   You are too old, too out of shape and pathetic"!   Sigh.  I really hope that I have a few good runs in my future next week, because this negative inner voice is really starting to get the best of me - I'm starting to believe it!!!

Overall, even though my pace was uber crappy this week, that's not what really has me down.   I've never really let the stop watch dictate whether a run was successful - a mile is a mile, whether it took 10 minutes or 13 and trying to be "fast" was never the point when I started this running journey.   I think it comes down to the fact that I'm not really "feeling it" this week.  I'm really starting to doubt whether I have the "Right Stuff" to complete that half marathon in September.   I need an awesome run - STAT!   Now where did I put my cape?????

As hard as it can be, I need to change my mindset a little and look at the week from another perspective.  If anyone was to read my Training Diary and compare it to my Training Plan, the week looks like a success.    All runs crossed off the list - all required miles were completed.  I need to chalk it up to a little bump in the road, shake it off, and get my head back in the right place.  Did I really think I was going to get to 21.1 kms and not hit any road blocks?  Of course not! 

Here's hoping I get my groove back a little in Week 2!!!!

Happy Trails! 

J :)

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