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Friday: Thoughts on Running

September 20, 2013

Hi friends!  No food pics this morning—we ate out on Wednesday night with some friends, and had leftovers last night, so nothing much is going on here.  But, we’re going to an outdoor concert tonight and bringing a picnic dinner, so I’m excited to come up with some fun stuff for that!

But, I decided to write a post anyway because…well, I’m up early and I have a full cup of coffee and no toddler to pull it out of my hands.  Smile 

I thought I’d write a little more about my half-marathon training, and just…running in general.

I commented in an earlier post that I wanted to work on getting faster before the half, so that’s what I’ve been doing, mostly through sprint intervals and just PUSHING myself to run miles at a slightly faster pace than I’m used to.  I think my “comfortable” pace is around 9:10-9:20, so I’ve been trying really hard to get under 9 minute miles for most of my mileage.  I can do it—but it isn’t easy.  So, I guess that’s the goal: run sub-9 minute miles that feel easy.

On Wednesday, I ran four miles:

photo (3)

They weren’t ALL sub-9 minute miles, but they were close, and my average pace was 8:45.  I’ll take it!

On Thursday, I ran 6 miles, with two of them under 9 minutes:


The other four were much slower, so my average pace was 9:12.  Not quite at my goal, but when I think back to the beginning of the summer when running six miles took me 1 hr. 4 minutes, and then 59 minutes, cutting down to almost 55 minutes feels pretty good.

In fact, I feel good about the progress I’ve made just in general during this training for the half.  When I went on my first post-partum run, I was running (slash walking) about a twelve minute mile.  That’s always been something that I’ve loved about running—if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can improve pretty vastly, pretty quickly.  It’s really encouraging (as long as you stay injury-free, ha). 

I’ve been trying to keep it all in that perspective—the perspective of, “Hey, look how far you’ve come!” rather than, “Man, I’m still not comfortable running a sub-9 minute mile. Sad smile ” I try to focus on myself, rather than what I know others are doing.  I have a friend who runs marathons and is training for her first ultra—she’s super-fast and super-strong, and at first I was embarrassed to even bring up the fact that I was training for a half.  “She’ll think that’s so wussy!” I thought.  But you know what?  She didn’t at all…or if she did, she didn’t act like she thought it was wussy, haha.  She was just excited that I was getting out there and running.  I know it goes both ways, too.  I have a friend on Facebook who is training for her very first 5k, and she wrote that she was a little embarrassed to post about being proud about the fact that she ran for five minutes straight with ease for the first time ever.  When I saw her post, I thought—don’t be embarrassed about that!! That’s awesome!!

We’re all just running at our own pace—literally.  There are always going to be people who are WAY faster than me.  And there are probably always going to be people who are slower than me.  Focusing on improving my own running is key, rather than constantly playing the comparison game with everyone else who runs.  I guess in the end, the only person I really want to beat is…well, ME!

That’s not running, let’s gooooo!

A request from taeccondition

We should all just run in the way that makes us happy.  Smile

I’ve got ten miles to run at some point this weekend, and I’m not going to worry about speed.  I’m just going to get out there, enjoy the run, and marvel at the fact that I’m running miles in the double-digits, when just two months ago, running four miles was difficult.  Love that!

Happy Friday!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2013 12:47 pm

    Those splits look really good – count it as a tempo with 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down. I think one thing that helped me get faster (other than trailing behind my friend) was doing 800’s. They’re kind of sucky while you’re doing them, but you feel pretty badass once you recover.

  2. September 20, 2013 12:54 pm

    Thanks for the running post this morning! I’m running my first 5k in several years tomorrow. It will be slooooow, and I’m alternately embarrassed by that and just so darn proud to be able to run the whole thing. So, amen to reaching individual running goals. And I’m super impressed by your half marathon training 🙂

    • September 21, 2013 12:34 pm

      Good luck on your 5K, Laura!!! You’re probably out there kicking ass right now as I write this comment!

  3. September 20, 2013 1:45 pm

    Love this post and all your posts on running! I’m also training for a half (in December), and I’ve always been a slow runner, so even running one mile under 9 minutes looks really impressive to me! But I completely agree – my favorite thing is seeing my progress. A few months after hurting my back, my first 5k took 38 minutes, way longer than it had ever taken before, even when I first started. But just a few months later, I ran my fastest yet, in 32 minutes. It’s the quantitative progress, not the actual speed, that makes running so great for me.

    • September 21, 2013 12:39 pm

      Shaving six minutes off is awesome!! Congrats!

  4. Lacey permalink
    September 20, 2013 4:25 pm

    I also love this post. I’m just working on ‘becoming’ a runner. I had some knee issues last year that caused me to not work at all on it. So, I love how you say that you can always improve. Right now, I was satisfied with running just a little bit last night. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • September 21, 2013 12:35 pm

      I hope your knee issues clear up. I know how awful that can be. 😦

  5. September 20, 2013 6:11 pm

    I could not agree with you more on this post! Perfectly written! I am never going to be the fastest. I’m ok with that. I work really hard at running. I am definitely NOT a natural. Tony is and that sucks for me. Tony and I had talked about doing a half at Thanksgiving. For some reason, about a month ago, my knee decided to be an asshat and start hurting. I took two weeks off from running and refused to run for one week after the pain was gone to make sure things were good. I ran last night and while it definitely doesn’t hurt like before, there is a slight pain that I’m trying to identify. I want that half so badly now. I never wanted it before and now I do! UGH, sometimes I really hate my body (for slowing me down). I love your attitude with running. I used to think runners were snobs (and some are), but I love when there is such amazing support to fellow runners. It’s not always about beating everyone else. I’m definitely that girl that is racing again myself though. Thank you for sharing Anna!

    • September 21, 2013 12:37 pm

      Aw, Sarena, that sucks about your knee. I know how that is– it’s funny, I feel like training for these longer distances can be hard on the body, but it also gets you SUPER attached to running– so that by the time you’re running longer distances and loving it, you’re also a bit more prone to injury. By the end of training for my first half, I was having some ankle issues. They cleared up once the training was over, but I was really scared that it was going to de-rail my training!

      I hope you get your half soon!!

  6. itzyskitchen permalink
    September 20, 2013 11:30 pm

    Great thoughts! Your improvements are awesome. I am running a very different half next time around and so I need to focus on the run vs. time….its definitely a challenge (mentally)

    • September 21, 2013 12:38 pm

      Yep– sometimes the biggest challenge is just making YOURSELF realize that time shouldn’t always matter!! 🙂

  7. September 21, 2013 12:55 pm

    I love Friends, haha, too funny! I am so impressed with anyone who could run a marathon and/or half-marathon, but lately I’ve been thinking I might just make that a person goal of mine. I never considered it before, but now? I think i may just have to try it one day (at least a half….I think I could, and should!).

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