One for the Books

It’s been quite a week in my 10K training. I’ve run fast, I’ve run hills, I’ve run far. It’s been good!

Scheduling conflicts have once again prevented me from sticking exactly to the training plan I’m following, but since my 10K is still over two months away, I’m not horribly concerned with following the plan to a ‘t.’ I do what I can, but I’m not beating myself up over changing things when I have to.

Exhibit A: Monday. On Mondays and Wednesdays, it’s tough for me to find time to run other than in the afternoon because of my class schedule. This past Monday was particularly bad because of a huge concert I was part of that had me busy from 3:30 in the afternoon until 11:00 at night. I wanted to get something in, though, so I planned a loop in my head and ran it fast. Instead of doing an easy three miles, I did a relatively hard 1.75 miles. I actually didn’t realize quite how fast I was going until after the fact: my pace was about a minute and half faster than it had been on any other run, and I smashed my previous training mile PR by nearly a minute. While I certainly couldn’t have kept that up for another five miles, it was good to know that I am capable of running faster than I have been.

On Tuesday, my training plan simply said “hill training.” While convincing anyone to go run hills is a tall order, that was a particularly big challenge for me given the fact that my normal runs have an elevation change of between 5 and 15 feet. Not exactly impressive. It’s also been a little while since I last ran hills:

So you know, about eight and half years, give or take. I managed to find a few hills around here, so I ran hard up the hills and jogged back to the bottom for about 20 minutes. I originally planned on running 10 hills but overestimated my speed, so I only got seven in.

My hill workout led to some pretty sore calves, which made Wednesday’s three-miler a little on the painful side. Wednesday’s run was also tough because it was windy again. I ran about my normal pace overall, but I definitely had a wind-aided last mile. On the bright side, it was warm enough to run in shorts and a t-shirt! I actually ran in shorts and a t-shirt on Tuesday as well. I don’t mind my winter running gear, but it feels so nice to run without 23049823 layers on.

Saturday, however, was my big day: my first four mile run! Aside from being a little chilly, the weather was just where I wanted it. My previous PDR was 3.7 miles on a I-don’t-feel-like-stopping run about three months ago, so I was a little unsure about how the four miles would go. It actually ended up not being bad at all. I kept a steady (pretty slow, but steady nevertheless) pace for the first two miles and a slightly slower pace for the second two miles, but my average pace was the same as it has been on my previous Saturday “long” runs (all three milers). I also felt like if I had to, I could have kept going after I finished, which I think is a good sign 🙂

This week is, once again, going to be all kinds of messed up as far as my training  vs. my scheduled training goes. On Friday I’m leaving for an eight-day trip to a climate very different than what I’m used to, and I don’t expect to be running at all while I’m there. I’ve toyed with the idea of putting in four miles on Wednesday instead of my scheduled three and doing a 5K fun run on Thursday instead of taking my rest day (since I’ll be resting Friday the 16th through Sunday the 25th), but the forecast isn’t looking very promising for Thursday.

And while this is not at all running related, I would like to state that my favorite time of year begins today! NCAA DI basketball seeds have been announced, and it’s time to get crackin’ on brackets! Even though I’ll unfortunately be missing nearly all of the tournament because of my trip ( 😦  ), I still have every intention of filling out a bracket. I did pretty baller last year–finished in the 90th percentile on ESPN, I believe–and I’m hoping I can keep it up this year 😉

Anyone else training for a race? How’s it going?
Do you get into March Madness, brackets, and all that, or are you more interested in other sports? (I’ll try to not judge you if you are 😉 )

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