January Training & the Runner Label

I’m beginning to get into a groove for 2019 training! I still don’t have a plan-plan, but I have mapped out my long runs leading me to a spring marathon in May. I have since rearranged that loose plan a few times. As I flipped long runs back and forth from March to April I realized I haven’t trained for a full marathon with more than 8 weeks lead-time since I started triathlon. For the last few years I’ve banked on my Ironman fitness and gotten through fall marathons with just that.

With uncertainty, but determination my training last week looked like this:

Monday:  yoga, core, & light strength
Tuesday: Hour on the trainer- Zwift workout with intervals. Leg strength after.
Wednesday: Swim 1800 yards. Run 4 miles with 4-minute 5K pace intervals
Thursday: Hour on the trainer- Zwift workout with intervals
Friday: Swim 2200 yards
Saturday: Indoor Ironworx team ride 1:15, followed by HIIT & yoga. Then a 5K at 3:00pm.
Sunday: 11 mile long run with an intended pace of 9:20

Totals:
Swim: 4,000 yards
Bike:  50 miles
Run:  18.1 miles

It was a good, get-back-at-it week with a 5K PR too! I signed up for a winter run series in Madison, with races every other Saturday in January and February with distances 5K, 4 mile, 5 mile and then a 1 mile to call the series a half marathon. I signed up thinking it would be a fun way to get in some speed work.

Going into the 5K I knew I could PR since I haven’t raced one since November 2016. The first split was 7:24, the second was 7:44, and the last was 8:08. I was a little disappointed in the last split going into the 8s, but am insanely proud of my 3 minute PR!

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On Sunday morning I was a little worried about how my legs would cooperate for my long run considering how much I pushed myself in the 5K. The first split was a bit slower than I’ve seen on my Garmin in a while, but then my legs warmed up and I was running the pace I intended to.

My intended pace was one I wouldn’t have considered for a long run in years past. It got me thinking about how we as runners define ourselves by our pace.

“I’m a 10 minute mile runner”

“I’m a 13 minute mile runner”

I’m a 9 minute mile runner”

For so many years I considered myself a XX:XX minute mile runner and stayed there. If I ran a little faster I’d pull back, because “I’m just a XX:XX minute mile runner”. What??? Why?

Last fall I had a coach help me with my marathon training and she assigned a pace to my long runs. It wasn’t an outlandish pace, it wasn’t unattainable, it wasn’t scary… it just wasn’t the pace I called myself as a runner. I ran my long runs at the assigned pace, and my entire perspective of myself as a runner changed. I can run other paces. Better yet, I can attempt other paces.

Before I tried running another pace the idea of doing a long run at a little bit faster of a pace scared me. When it was assigned by a coach I feared I might not be able to maintain it for more than six miles. I stepped out of the box I put myself in, I set the fears aside and tried it. It worked.

So what if we drop the defined pace when we call ourselves runners? What if we just simply say, “I am a runner”

Here’s what will happen:

You will run. Maybe faster, maybe slower. You will gain confidence. You will discover the runner you never knew you could be.

Say it with me, “I am a runner”.

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2 comments

  1. I am SO amazed that you’ve run marathons just 8 weeks out from an ironman. The iron-distance race has always been THE race for a year for me, and afterwards, I really back away from any structured training. So, it sounds like a spring marathon will be an awesome experience for you! Enjoy the training these days.

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  2. I’m SO excited to see how your spring marathon unfolds!! You have solidly set yourself out of the gates!! It is fun to see your transformation unfold and inspirational for us all 🙂

    Like

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