Happy Monday, everyone! It’s probably happier for me than it is for most people since I’m not working today. I worked the weekend, and one of my favorite things to do when I work the weekend is to NOT work Monday. When I worked night shift, my favorite thing ever [next to NOT working night shift] was coming home from work on a Monday morning and going to bed when everyone else was heading into work. It was oddly satisfying…or I was just delirious from being up all night. We may never know.) Heading into work on Saturday morning, all I could think about was how nice the weather was and how much I’d rather be running! Rumor has it the weather was perfect and even hit 60 degrees! So sad to have missed that, but it was in the high 40’s when I went running today, so I can’t really complain.
I should permanently move my long runs to Mondays, as it tends to work out best for my training/work schedule. Today I had 10 miles as a long run – a cutback from last week’s 12 miles. I took my time drinking coffee and eating breakfast before heading out. Turns out it was much warmer than I thought the high 40’s would be, and I overdressed a bit – even in capris, a tank top, long sleeves, gloves, and a headband. I quickly tucked my gloves into the back of my capris where they stayed put for the entire run. The plan for the run was super easy – five miles out, five miles back. And it felt as easy as that!
When I had more of a normal schedule years ago, I liked to do a mid-long run (about half the distance of my long run, which is more dramatic when it’s marathon training than half marathon training, ha) the day before a long run to get used to running on tired legs. I may have had some extra pep in my step since I haven’t run since Friday, although I was quite busy at work. My role for the weekend was in the hydrotherapy room, where I’m responsible for showering/bathing and doing wound care for patients. You’re on your feet for most of the day, setting up and cleaning the room between patients, helping wash patients, doing dressings, etc. I’m tired when I leave, although I still haven’t figured out the relationship between being tired from work and being tired running.
But anyway, I felt great running today. I headed south along the Hudson, which is basically pancake flat and you don’t have to think about anything except for a few cross streets. My turn around point was just before Chambers, which meant that I chased One World Trade Center down the west side. It’s a lovely view and makes me feel lucky to be here.
And then you turn around and run home.
After three miles, I felt my pace drop from 8-ish to 7:40’s and it felt effortless. I turned around and started the trip back north. With about there miles to go, I told myself to keep the pace easy-ish so I wouldn’t burn out at the end. I ended up going faster (oops?) and then really dropped it the two miles, hitting 7:21 and 7:14 pace. Overall pace of 7:43 – whaaaaat? Feeling good.
We’re just shy of four weeks away from the NYC Half. I’m really not sure what to expect from it, but runs like this (and my past few long runs!) make me feel like I’ll be able to feel solid while running it. I have no idea what my goal will be for the race. I found out I got into the NYC Half only a week after I started running again. After spending a fair amount of 2015 injured or trying to avoid injury (that’s how I classify all of my training for the 2015 NYC Marathon – “don’t get injured!”), I took off the month of November. And traveled to Asia for three weeks, but shhh. When I found out I got into the half, of course my first thought was, “I can’t not try to throw it down in the streets of NYC.” Which would be great if I wasn’t rebuilding while trying to keep injuries away. I slowly built my mileage, then added in some speed work about a month ago. When I did my first couple speed workouts, I wondered if it was too early to add speed. I felt okay doing them, but I was wiped out for a couple days after. They weren’t even long workouts! My hip/groin was sometimes achy, which makes me nervous. Some of my runs turned into ultimate slogfests, and I got really discouraged and wasn’t enjoying running.
I was expressing my frustrations to Abbe a couple weeks ago, and she reminded me that not only am I rebuilding, but I also haven’t legitimately trained for a running event in…..a long time. Two years, maybe? (Yikes.) It was around then that I decided to put a hold on the speed work and focus on building mileage and keeping injury away. (Again, I know.) I’m personally getting tired of saying I’m training for a race and then backing off, but I know it’s the smart thing to do. I had used McMillan’s race calculator to determine paces for speed work, and I put in a PR pace as a goal. Running sub-7 pace for 13.1 miles is definitely not in the cards for four weeks from now, but I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with my current fitness level. It’ll be a solid effort, which is always a confidence booster no matter the pace. I’d like to get back to the marathon this fall, and I’d like to get back there without injury. I love running, and I know it comes with peaks and valleys…and sometimes it’s a slow climb to the next peak, but I’m working on climbing back up there.