Sunday, December 16, 2012

Unconventional Advice that Actually Worked!

At the start of this weekend I planned to try to build some strength and endurance by running my long run through the hills of Central Park.  I was hoping to get to 10 miles, but as long as I surpassed my 8 from last week that was going to be enough.  But then a funny thing happened that changed my plans.  I texted my friend Cam, to see if I could have a phone date with her later in the week to go over some ideas I had for continuing my race training.  Cam went from about a 2:15 half to sub 2 hrs in just 3 halfs, so I was interested in her opinion.  Our text convo altered my plan for the weekend.  

Cam told me to push myself on my next run - harder than I think I could go - on my next run.  "It should not feel fun or easy, it should kind of suck," she said.  

"I like that plan.  A little nervous about doing it for long run cause then what if I burn out and can't finish?" I replied.

"That's the problem right there.  You can't think like that.  Tell yourself your'e going to do it.  Worst case you feel like crap and you have 3 miles left, you can easily bang through those last 3, it's nothing!"

In a way it kind of set off a light bulb.  Maybe I'm letting myself be too comfortable - I'm too afraid I won't be able to finish my mileage.  Kind of the way I used to hesitate trying to do sprint work outs.  Now, I still know that conventional running advice says to take your long run slow, so I wasn't going to try for anything SUPER crazy, but I also thought, you know what, push yourself out of your comfort zone - Cam's right!  

I was still worried about making it to the 8+ miles, so I altered my route through the park to involve less hills and more laps around the bridal path / reservoir [although I did get a bit of mini-hills in there]. did it go?

Made it through a lot of my To Do List this weekend!
It was a success!  I did it!  10 miles!  I followed Cam's suggestion and was surprised at how easy the first few miles at the faster pace felt.  In fact, several times when I looked down at my watch I was shocked to see the sub-10:00 minute pace.  It didn't feel like I was pushing that hard.  Is it possible that the sprints and tempo run are paying off already?  I don't know, but I'll take it!

Okay, so I couldn't hang onto the pace through those later miles, but I still averaged 10:12/mi!  Success!
When all was said and done my final pace was 13 seconds / mile faster than last weekend's 8 mile run.  These past two weeks have me really feeling great about the Naples Half!

Also, for the first time in a long time I didn't get sick after a long run - talk about a fabulous weekend!  More on that later....

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