Hitting Your Stride

Preach!
Preach!

In my previous post I talked about being in a “running rut”. If you’re a glass-half-full-type-person, I suppose my current situation could also be known as “hitting my stride”. A few short months ago, a 3 mile run was taxing, challenging and much more time consuming. I would need at least 45 minutes to complete 3 miles (with a warm-up and cool down included) and I would be sore and probably cranky afterwards.

Now, it is no longer such a feat. 3 miles takes me under 30 min to run. 35 min with a warm up and cool down. I feel energized after my run and happy. Thinking back to some of those early runs, where I barely could run 1 mile in under 10.30 and now I am running splits that are under 9.30 makes me proud- which sounds corny but it is true.

This may or may not have happened to me...
This may or may not have happened to me…

While feeling proud and accomplished, I do not want to get complacent in my running. I still have a long way to go and many goals I want to reach. And I think, in the past that is where I have gone wrong. I liked getting to a point in my running where it was effortless. It made it less like a workout and more like meditation- which is good, therapeutic and zen; but does not give me the same sense of accomplishment as finishing a run and feeling exhausted, sore and tired. Is it weird that I like feeling that way? Probz…

So, this year, in addition to signing up for more races than I have in previous years I have set more goals for myself. All of the research I have done advises that runners set one goal. Ex. Improve mile time OR Increase distance. Most running websites strongly advise against improving mile time and increasing distance. I have always been a bit of loose cannon and have decided not to follow this advice and work on improving my mile time AND adding on miles.

Sure thing!
Sure thing!

Recently, I have been much more focused on improving my mile time. This is new  territory for me. Historically, I  have pretty content with running for miles and miles, hours and hours, never breaking a 10.30 mile time. Now, I am having a hard time going for runs longer than 5 miles, because I get upset when my mile time is over 10 min/ mile.

With my half marathon i 8 weeks away, I think it’s prob time I put some effort into increasing my miles. This weekend, I am planning on a nice long run and my goal is is to not worry about my mile time at all. I may even turn off the “coach” on MapMyRun so I don’t feel the need to keep pace.

During the week, I will continue to work on my speed and worry about mile times. And of course, strength training 2-3 times per week… Hmmm… Maybe I should quit my day job and just focus on training? I wonder if KC is willing to not only support me emotionally but financially? Hmmm…..

My big  running goal this year, is to run a half marathon in 2 hours and 10 min. That is 10 min splits… for 13.1 miles… I am signed up to do 2 because I am concerned I will not be able to meet this goal in August. My current PR is 2 hours and 16 min (I think? I should prob keep better records…) . So I would be shaving about 30 seconds off each mile.

Truth!
Truth!

Next year, I would like to complete a half marathon in 2 hours flat, which is 9.16 min splits… The following year I would like to complete a marathon (no time goal yet… I’d be stoked to finish and not come in last!)

What are your goals?

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