#StockadeathonTraining: Week #6 // Sticking to the Plan When I Don’t ‘Want’ to Run

In the late summer of 2017, I set out with a goal to train for a 15K with a different perspective than my norm. I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to my goals if I revisit them on the regular.  This is week six.

Monday October 9 – Sunday October 15

Total Miles Planned: 13 miles.

Total Miles Ran: 13 ran, plus 6 walked.

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Favorite Run: Wednesday evening I GOT IT DONE.  I had work dinner plans for Thursday evening and a day-long work event Friday, both of which would include adult beverages.

Wednesday afternoon I wasn’t feeling especially jazzed to get my 3-miler done, but I gave myself a little pep talk, reminding myself that I’d feel even less like running Thursday, Friday or Saturday, and ended up having a really strong run after work.  Unintentional negative splits type of strong.  BOOYAH!

Least Favorite Run: Getting out the door for my long run on Sunday morning was rough.  I had seven miles looming over my head and I procrastinated for a long while before finally leaving the apartment about 90 minutes later than I had wanted to originally. 

When it came down to it, the run was…fine.  I got it done, one step at a time. I was happy with the podcast playlist I had crafted, consisting of several short episodes which helped to make the miles pass. I was happy with my decision to warm up looooooooong, walking briskly for a mile and a half before starting to run.  I was happy in my choice to run most of the route on a local bike trail which has been a staple to several previous training cycles of my past. 

Fall is such a lovely time to run on the trail, which is heavily wooded.  I had a ‘magic moment’ of running for a few moments when leaves legit fell from branches of very tall trees while I ran through a stretch of forest showcasing a rainbow of colors throughout it’s leaves.  Other than this terrific movie-like moment, however, I did a lot of just pushing through the miles and trying to focus on the podcasts I was listening to to get it done.

Other Workouts: Another 3 miler on Monday, after walking home from work.  I ran my close-to-home mile loop three times, ending with rain I totally wasn’t expecting. It was a nice cool down, though, and because I was so close to the end of my run I wasn’t tempted to cut it short like I may have otherwise been if the rain started earlier in my running. 

After Sunday’s seven miler, I did 30 minutes of “cool down” yoga before getting in the shower.  My legs were already feeling tight and I knew making time for extra care now would help me down the road.  As a matter of fact, rolling out my mat in the living room for a 10-20 minute YouTube yoga session is quite common these days.

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Listening Notes: Monday’s 3 Miler: What’s it take to be a Superfan? from Part-Time Genius – If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed this is one of my favorite podcasts to run to these days.  Highly recommended.

Wednesday’s 3 Miler: The Inner Circle – S30E13: Feel the Burn – I’m not watching this season of The Challenge, but this podcast is so fantastic it doesn’t matter. 

Sunday’s 7 Miler: As I mentioned above, before my run on Sunday I built a playlist of short-ish episodes to listen to throughout my long run. Here’s what was on that playlist:

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#StokadeathonTraining Reflections: This training cycle I have found myself in need of the same pep talk, time and time again.  Whenever I feel doubt when it comes to running, I remind myself that in order to be ready for race day [which is now less than four weeks away, by the by,] I simply have to run the miles. 

This is what continues to get me out the door and around the block and down the street and up the hill and through the park and back home, again and again. 

Log the miles, whatever it takes. Run slow. Run light. Run easy. Run with all the anger and might of a bad day if you have to. Run with all the complacency you can muster if you have to. Run in a repetitive loop around the block, over and over again. Just get it done. One step at a time. One mile at a time.

The beauty lies somewhere in the middle of the miles, in the magical ‘push-through’ moments. The air is easier to breathe. The temperature is no longer harsh on my skin.  My stride feels like a dance I’ve finally mastered, spacing each step perfectly in line from head to shoulder, knee to toe. These are the moments I most feel like a runner. These are the moments I chase.

These moments are why I lace up on my shoes on days I’d much rather stay inside and avoid my training all together.  Somewhere, past the early minutes of each run, I know it’s out there, waiting to meet me during some stretch of the route.  The bliss I chase is waiting for me, I just need to keep moving forward, one step at a time, until it meets my stride once again. 

#StockadeathonTraining: Week 5 // The Magic Miles

In the late summer of 2017, I set out with a goal to train for a 15K with a different perspective than my norm. I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to my goals if I revisit them on the regular.  This is week five

Monday October 2 – Sunday October 8

Total Miles Planned: 12 miles.

Total Miles Ran: 12 ran, plus 12 walked.

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Favorite Run: Remember last week when I cut my long run short, turning my prescribed 5 miler into a 3 miler? I made up for it this week. On Tuesday evening, after working for 10 hours and taking a nice 2-mile warm up walk with a friend, I took the long way home and conquered that 5-miler.  It felt awesome to feel so strong after a long day at the office and I was glowing with happiness when I was done.

Least Favorite Run: Totally unexpectedly, all of this week’s runs were enjoyable, it’s hard for me to consider one a ‘least favorite’ this time around. I did struggle through a yoga video, though.

I had wanted to complete a 30-minute post-run stretch, and the video I chose from YouTube had me remembering how much running impacts your entire body, not simply your legs. I’ve been doing a fair job at taking extra care with my back and core [stretching and flowing my way to what feels good every morning before getting ready for work and often again after my evening workouts] but this video reminded me that I can’t neglect my hips!! More one legged pigeon in my future, for sure. 

Other Workouts: Saturday’s 6-Miler felt really great and my ‘1 mile for time’ improved by over 40 seconds since I first timed myself at the start of training.

Listening Notes: I listened to the first few songs on the Hamilton Cast Recording when I ran my ‘1 mile for time’ and although I have made two new music playlists to listen to while running, I’m still on my normal habit of listening to podcasts while logging miles.  Here’s what I listened to this week:

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#StokadeathonTraining Reflections: It seems that each time I reach the 5 and 6 mile weeks of a training plan, I feel I’ve hit some sort of “magic mileage” recipe.  I feel especially strong then, after I’ve taken my time to slowly find my grove and increase my mileage bit by bit.
Now is that magic time; I ran a 5-miler on a Tuesday night and then ran a 6-miler Saturday morning. Running continues to transform me, time and time again.  The pattern hasn’t stopped yet.
Set a goal.
Write a plan.
Face the plan, one step at a time.
Surprise myself with all I learn through training, all I process on the pavement, all I leave out on the road and all I pick up and take back home with me, too.

Now I need to remember what comes next: Keep running through the valley, which will no doubt be waiting for me up ahead.

Race day is still just about 5-weeks away and I want to be careful not to get too far ahead of myself. I want to continue to make smart choices to keep my body healthy, happy, and [knock-on-wood] injury free.  And I want to continue my quest to celebrate the miles and enjoy the act of running rather than focus on building speed. Here’s to taking things one step at a time!

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