Today my workout was supposed to be 3 miles, from Fit Right to the steel bridge and back. I was going to run with the 10 minute pace leader but there wasn't one, so I ran with the 10:30 group. I'm glad I did, because it was the perfect pace for where I am at right now. There were about 8 people in my group. 2 were in the 10k program and everyone else but me was in the marathon so I decided to stick with them and run an extra mile instead of turning back alone. The trek back to the store is a gradual uphill and I knew that if I wasn't with a group I would let myself walk a little, even though I knew I could run the distance.
Here is where I admit that I am not very good at running at a consistent pace. I have a tendency to run sub-10 miles but at my current fitness level I can't maintain that pace for longer than a mile or two so I end up walking for about 20 seconds here and there and then keep on running pretty fast. For 5k's this is okay, but it just doesn't work on a longer race or run. Today was the longest consecutive run without a little bit of walking since last September so I'm pretty proud of myself for staying on pace and not giving in to the walk.
4 miles at the 10:30 pace felt really good and while I was pushing myself on the gradual hill over the last mile, I know it's a pace I can maintain. I just have to keep telling myself that I'm strong enough to do this and remind myself to breathe correctly. Breathing deep plus good form can make a challenging run a lot more enjoyable and easier. I think after about a month of this training, when we get all of our pacers back, that I may be able to jump into the 10 minute group.
I need to figure out how I want to hydrate though on the longer runs. Even 4 miles of no water is a stretch for me. They have aid stations set up for us on the longer runs but I'm not sure how many weeks into the workouts that starts. For now I guess I'll use my hand-held water bottle. It's not too annoying, but it's a lot easier to run without anything extra! I look forward to the aid stations :)
Next Saturday I'm running the 5 mile run at night in Eugene with Kim and Cliff so I'm trying to decide what to do about training. The marathon training is 6 miles next week and the 1/2 is only 4. Either way that's more mileage than I'm used to running in a day! I don't really want to miss a day so early on though, so I may just jump back into a slower pace group.
Here is a picture of me at least 20 minutes after my run.
This is why I don't like pictures of me running - I look like a red melting skittle. I kind of look scary and I'm sure people feel bad for me, even though I'm feeling great. There was a photographer taking pictures of us for them to use in store related promotional stuff, but I really hope I don't make it into any of those. I also hope I don't see him again.
The session 1 marathon people ran their 22 miles last week and were running 18 or 20 this week. The 1/2 marathon people were supposed to run 13 miles last week but the course was off and everyone ran 14 miles. I'm surprised that this training takes us up to 13 miles! I will seriously be so proud of myself if I can run that many miles without stopping to walk a bunch - (a couple really quick water breaks is allowed!). Heck, I am proud of running 4 miles at the same pace without stopping today. I think this program is going to be a big morale booster! Yay!