Monday, October 10, 2016

Another Awesome Tempo Run and Some Inspiration

I like to run a long tempo every other week. Usually the off week is just an easy paced long run, sometimes it's a race. The nice thing about having essentially two weeks of training separating my long tempo runs is that I see a lot of progress from one tempo to the next. Lately it has been that I can maintain the same pace while adding another mile to my tempo or even run a faster pace with the added mile. Two weekends ago I was stoked over a 9 mile tempo run at 7:07 pace. I started getting excited about the possibilities for what I could do with 2 more months training before my half-marathon. Last weekend I ran a huge 10k PR of 41:49 or 6:40 per mile pace which was a great confidence booster going into the last few weeks of training before my half-marathon. This week I had a 10 mile tempo run planned. I knew I was capable of running 9 miles at 7:07 pace so I figured I'd shoot for that same pace for 10 miles and see where that got me. I was able to run 7:05 pace for my 10 mile tempo. I had a few miles in the middle that were slower than I would have liked but I finished out the final 4 miles in 7:02, 6:55, 6:49, and 6:55. The last mile was up a gradual but long hill so I think it could have been faster if it had been as flat as the other miles.
The kids ready for a run in the stroller, eating a free bagel thanks to my mom's MyPanera account!

I know 6:50 pace is still a reach but 7:00 minute pace seems reasonable and if I could just sneak a little under 7:00 minute pace I could run a half-marathon PR! My first half-marathon was run the summer before my senior year of college when I was training for cross country. I was running a high volume of miles but no speed work. I think that plays into me being able to PR nicely. Although I ran anywhere from 50-80 mile weeks during that summer all my runs were base miles, nothing fast that would put me in great racing shape. I had run lots of 12 mile long runs but most were at 8:00 pace so I had no idea what I could do in a half-marathon. I just took off and ran what felt like a reasonably hard pace that I could maintain and was shocked when I was going through the mile marks in under 7:00 minutes. Unfortunately at some point I either lost or threw away my training log from that summer. It was before I learned about the magic of the Garmin running watch and the race didn't have online results so I'm not sure of my exact time. I know it was 1:31 something. I can find the winning female's time which was 1:31:14 and that's all. We ran the entire race together and then she outkicked me in the last half mile so I'm not really sure how much she beat me by. I'm guessing my time was around 1:31:30 from what I remember about how far ahead of me she was, so I'm going to go with somewhere around in there. But if I run a 1:31:32, I'm going to call it my PR because then I'll actually have an accurate finishing time for my half PR! I'm super pumped for November and can't wait to see what I can pull out on race day! My tempo run rounded out a 45 mile training week. Now that I'm into serious training mode I've been adding a mile here and a mile there to up my weekly mileage. This coming week will be a lower volume of miles due to our 5k race on Saturday. I'm excited to see what I can do in it after running the second half of my 10k in 20:35. I'm also excited because it's Ty's favorite race we run. They have a costume contest and he goes all out, transforming the stroller and making costumes (with a lot of help from my mom) for all of us to go with the stroller.
Here's a sneak peak of this year's costume.

After the excitement of an awesome tempo run on Saturday, I woke up to track my friend Sara in her marathon. I met Sara the evening after I ran my first half-marathon. I went to a friend's house and Sara was there because she was roommates with my friend's cousin. Someone mentioned that I had run a half-marathon that morning so Sara came over to chat with me about it because she's a runner. We ended up running together later down the road and she helped me train for my second marathon. She introduced me to awesome products like fuel belts and Garmin running watches. She also helped push me into great shape for my marathon which I would have PR'd in had it not been for the crazy wind on race day! Back when Sara and I were training together her goal was to break 1:30 in the half-marathon. Back then she was very prone to injury and tended to get injured when she started amping up mileage and training hard for races. Her goal on Sunday was to break 3 hours in the marathon. For those of you who aren't familiar with running and don't understand how crazy fast that is, here are some comparisons. The Olympic Marathon qualifying standard for women is 2:45. To qualify for Boston as a woman her age, you would need to run a 3:40. A 3 hour marathon equals out to around 6:50 pace per mile. I had signed up for the race tracker so I got alerts when she hit the 10k, half-marathon, 20 mile mark, and finish line. At the half-way mark she was averaging 6:50 pace and was estimated to finish around 2:59. Then at the 20 mile mark she was running even faster. I knew she should finish the race around 10:28 and got ansty when I hadn't gotten an alert, worrying that she may have narrowly missed a sub-3:00 finish. But when my alert came through, she had finished in 2:58:53! I was so excited I started jumping up and down while screaming so I had to explain to Carter what was going on. It was such an exciting moment thinking of the joy she must have felt as she crossed the finish line. She has been an inspiration to me. Seeing her as a mother and a woman in her 30's running PRs and chasing her dreams has made me realize my fastest times don't have to be behind me. At some point after Carter was born I decided there was no hope for me to PR again. I'd have to shoot for "after child PRs" or "postpartum "PRs" to motivate me. But then after Elise was born I came back easier and started getting excited about the possibility of someday running a PR in the half-marathon. As I started following Sara's blog and reading about her chasing her dreams I started to believe maybe all my PRs don't have to be behind me either. So far this season I've been able to pull out a 10k PR and I'm excited to see what is to come. If Sara can run two half-marathons back to back faster than her half-marathon PR when we met, maybe I can run my half-marathon just a few minutes faster than I did back then. It has been awesome to watch Sara chase her dream and it has inspired me to begin chasing mine again.
Ready, set, go!!!!


  1. Her run was impressive, wasn't it? And it looks like Elise already got her medal.

  2. She's always finding them around the house and wearing them, haha!

  3. Aww, I love everything about this post! First of all, way to nail that long tempo! I think you're right in track for a PR half at Route 66. You're gaining speed and endurance so quickly and you still have several training weeks! Plus running those long tempos alone is tough - you'll run faster with less effort in a race. I'm so excited for your race and I sure hope I can track it (unless I end up seeing it in person!)!

    Also, thank you so much for your kind words and support of my running. I'm glad that seeing my training has inspired you to reach for new PRs! All of those training miles we did in our 20s are only going to help us more now. In my marathon when I passed the half feeling fresh, I thought about how what I'd just done used to be a half goal for me, and how this was really a big dream. But the cool thing about dreaming big is that sometimes we accomplish those dreams! Onward to 1:29 (and faster!) for you!!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. *on track for a PR, not in track! Having some issues posting from my phone because our WiFi is being dysfunctional!

    3. I love that you dream big and then work hard to get there! I'm excited to see what my half in November holds. It will be fun!