As I kick off week 2 of my 6-month run-challenge (see week 1 here), I am already feeling better and more hopeful that this challenge will do more than just get me through the winter months of running. It will give me the confidence back that I’ve lost and I, for the first time, think this challenge will also improve my pace and endurance. And that last part? Excites me.
I haven’t truly felt excited about running for awhile. Let’s be honest. That half marathon attempt in August truly obliterated it. But then the day I just ran brought it back, gave me the boost I needed to believe I can.
This past week, I ran my very first interval run that I actually liked (whereas last week I blogged about just how much I hated them! Who knew?!). Why? Because of a huge tip from Heather…I am not giving myself enough time to recover from each speed burst. Duh. Why didn’t I think of that?! So, with that advice in mind, I set out to do what I concocted as ‘rolling intervals’ where I ran about 2 miles steady (my 6.0 pace), then did 1-minute intervals starting at 7.0 (through 7.5) and 1-minute rests (3.5 walking pace). Once I hit 7.5, I bumped that up to 1.5 minute intervals and 1-minute rests (3.5 walking pace), until I hit 8.0 (and was at about 4 miles). I finished the last mile out steady state (and felt like my 6.0 pace was practically walking! Ha!). I got off the dreadmill and was SO happy, it felt great. That run high that’s been alluding me? Found. :-)
The other thing that’s making me so excited about this challenge is in talking to Samantha over at Because I Can, who, just a year or so ago, was having similar breathing issues and was on her own quest to increase her pace etc. She’s run some marathons, half marathons etc., and has kicked ASS (with the help of the awesome @RunBikeSurf!). Her pace is incredible. I aspire to it, quite frankly (perhaps not *as* speedy, but to know in a year, she’s accomplished SO much, just makes me excited at the prospect that I too could improve quite a bit in these 6 months).
She’s been giving me some great advice and tweaks to my weekly run schedule that I think will completely help me in so many ways. For example, on Saturday’s run, she suggested I add in 1/4 mile striders, where I increase my pace be .2 or so for every last 1/4 mile of my run, and that will eventually help me run faster (where that bump up in pace will eventually be what feels more comfortable and my usual pace will feel slow). I took her advice and added that to my run on Saturday (6 miles, for which I fought every mile, I really wanted to quit at 4 miles, my legs just felt like lead) and again, hopped off, feeling accomplished and excited. Hello run high…again!
So, this week, my plan is to again tackle those intervals, aiming for 5-6 miles total. I also plan to do 6 – 6.5 on Saturday’s run (which is a run/barre/run date, so that run will be outside and I can’t wait!! Yes, you read that right! I got some new outdoor running stuff that should help me not fear it so!. I also plan to do at least two more 5 mile runs (maybe even outside on Tuesday with M, again!), this week (goal of 4 runs per week).
So…report back! What about you? What did you do this week for your own self-challenges? What worked? What didn’t?
**asslap to everyone adding some sweat to their lives, no matter what form it comes in…yoga, running, walking, swimming, kickboxing, barre, you name it, it counts **