So since my Sunday long run got pushed to Monday, all of my training runs this week were pushed back a day. Thank goodness or I would have done a 17.5 mile long run and 8 mile tempo back to back. That would not have felt nice. I ended up taking yesterday completely off which worked out well because it was so freaking freezing that you couldn’t even pay me to leave my house. Today wasn’t much better so I opted to take my run indoors. Tempo runs suck in the winter no matter where you do them. If you run outside, it takes forever for your body to warm up enough to actually run fast AND if there’s snow/ice on the sidewalks you run the risk of breaking your face. If you run inside, you’re stuck on the boring dreadmill which makes tempo runs a million times harder than they really are. Or is it just me? Anyone else run way slower on the treadmill?? PLUS the dang things stop at the 60 minute mark so it gets kind of annoying if your run lasts longer than an hour.
Okay now that I’m done complaining…
I had an 8 mile run to do today with 6 miles at tempo. Here’s how it went:
I warmed up for the first two miles but still progressively got faster (6.5 –> 7.5 mph) and then from there, increased .1 every mile (until I reached 8.1 mph). It was like a game in my head. Don’t ask.
ANYWAY, a part of me was happy with the way things went (I haven’t had a decent tempo run in weeks) and another part of me was a bit disappointed in myself. I thought back to the summer when I ran my tempos much faster and kept asking myself WHY I was struggling so much with speed. It’s completely mental. I looked back at my training log and things have been far from perfect during this training cycle. I was in Phoenix for the first week (skipped two runs), strength trained to the point where I could barely walk during week 3, and was sick during weeks 5 and 6 (aka barely any running at all). I just look at that and think that I’m no longer at the same level and am just going to have to deal with it. So I don’t even bother trying to run as fast as I KNOW I can run.
Is this making any sense??
During today’s run, after each mile I told myself, “I don’t think I can run the next one faster.” Aaaaand guess what? I did. Each mile was faster than the one before it. Still not as fast as I “used to be” but I broke through the mental barrier and realized once again that I am capable of speeds I thought were “impossible” during this training cycle.
TAKE THAT, BRAIN.
It also helps to see your phone light up during the last mile with this message:
So here we go. I’ve been struggling a bit with my confidence up to this point but I’m ready to make the most of the next 6.5 weeks. My head is finally back in the game.
Let’s just have a minute of honesty over here. I think I can count the number of times I have stretched after a run on ONE HAND. It’s really, really sad and I definitely felt it today. My calves and hamstrings were so tight during my run today because I didn’t even take two minutes to stretch after Monday’s 17.5 miles.
I forced myself to do it today and holyyyyy cow — inflexible award goes to ME. I am committing to 5-10 minutes a day and will include this as part of my training recaps in my Marathon Monday posts to hold me accountable.
Alright, I’m off to make some butternut squash soup for dinner! I’ll be back tomorrow with a Thinking Out Loud Thursday post (it’s been forever since I participated!) and we will talk about something other than running…