Over the past year, I’ve really started to focus on my speed and getting faster. It was some time during Track at an early spring meet that I realized I wanted to try to qualify for Boston and it was a scary goal for me. I remember when I first ran a marathon and ran 3:55 and thought about how far away I was from qualifying. I thought with hard work, dedicated training and a great race, it could possibly happen in October of this year. Last fall, I was hoping to break the 4 hour mark once again at Santa Clarita in November, which didn’t happen, and then I had an epic blow up at the Tucson Marathon. I trained well for both races, but I had no speed training and was running around 9:30 pace consistently. I really started training differently when I started coaching cross country and track in September of 2013. I’m a fairly competitive person, and I gradually started running with the team and kept improving. I have put in hard work and I can definitely see a difference in my running, training and racing. The results are pretty undeniable and I can’t believe it when you compare my average pace now (7:45-8:15) to my average pace a year ago (9:30s). Here are a few things that I’ve implemented that I think have really made a huge change in my running and training.
This past week, I didn’t want to run. My back was hurting, my legs were super heavy and I just felt so exhausted. I couldn’t get back into the rhythm that I had before the race. Then I realized, HELLO. I needed to take a little break and let my body fully recover. I sometimes get so nervous and think, if I take time off, I’m going to lose my speed, just like how Steve Carrel says in 40 Year Old Virgin, “Is it true, that if you don’t use it, you lose it?”I should know better that I’ll be fine for a few days and instead I’ll come back stronger than before and feeling refreshed.
Right after the race I was on a running high and wanted to hop back to it without taking any time off. My excitement and love for running was great, but didn’t last and I ended up feeling horrible. Though I felt decent on my first few runs back, my toes were still recovering, so last Thursday, I decided I will take a week off from running and see how my feet are after a week break. I finally felt like I really wanted to run on Saturday so off I went. Running is so different when I really WANT to run. I think it’s so important to not run to ‘run’, but to run because you want to. It makes every run so much better. I’ve really realized that a lot this year with my goals of running with a purpose.
Once I started out, I felt pretty good and just let my legs do the work. Just as I thought, I wasn’t winded and felt so much better after a break. I ran the same exact route I usually run for a 4 miler, and finished at the gym. I was looking through my runkeeper app at my runs that I was doing a year ago and realized how much faster I got in just a year. I’m posting what I’ve been doing workout wise tomorrow that has helped me get faster!
It’s pretty crazy to see the actual times and how they compare on the same exact run. It’s motivating to keep working hard and pushing myself! I have signed up for a few 5Ks and the 10K that I run every year on the Fourth of July, so I’m interested to see how fast I can run them. I’m getting more comfortable with the idea of pushing myself hard and not being afraid of the pain.
Also, this week Cross Country season has started and I cannot even put into words how excited I am. I LOVE cross country and it’s so exciting to start fresh. Even though practice is at 6:30 am daily, I wake up so excited to get out there to run and laugh with the team. I know with hard work and consistency this year’s team can do some awesome things!
I’ve always said and thought that you really have to ‘want’ to try to qualify for Boston. You have to really want to train for it and put in the time to get there. When I ran my first marathon, the qualifying time for my age was 3:45, which was a solid 10 minutes off of my PR and I never had the desire to try to qualify. When they bumped the times up and my new qualifying time was 3:35, I accepted the fact that I would probably never qualify and I was okay with that, I didn’t have the desire to run Boston, I didn’t want to qualify. I was happy with my 3:55 and breaking four hours because that’s what I really wanted.
Something happened at a track meet back in February of this year. I was running around on the infield with some of my athletes and I saw one of the coaches from another school wearing a Boston Jacket and I had this really weird feeling of wanting to qualify so bad, which I never had before. It was like one of those movie montages where life flashes before the characters eyes but for me, it was all the training I was doing with the team, My Santa Clarita Race, where I raced the second half of the race and ran faster than I thought I could, the time 3:35, and the jacket. As I’ve said many times recently, I was not practicing what I was preaching to my kids daily at practice. I wasn’t actually pushing myself in my own running as I tell them to do daily. I realized at that moment I WANTED to qualify for Boston and it seemed crazy that now I wanted it, but how do I make it happen?I had a solid base of half marathon training mileage and I was looking forward to Mountains to Beach because it gave me the perfect amount of time to test out doing ‘shorter’ long runs (No 20 miler! Yay!) and more quality runs during training. I wanted see how this Marathon went especially with my bathroom issues and to help come up with a plan to train in the Summer for a Fall Marathon. Training for a Fall Marathon would give me 2 months to train instead of one like how I had for M2B. I also truly believed I needed to be running 7:15-7:30 pace comfortably to make sure I could run that hard for the entire race. I was running around 8:30 comfortably and 7:45 pace on my hard runs and that was pushing myself and with stop light breaks, bathroom breaks, stretching breaks. I put together a training plan for M2B and training went decent with one rough week. I really envisioned myself finishing in 3:45, which would be super exciting, because it’s a 10 minute PR and under 4 hours again!
I fully had the intention to try to qualify at Long Beach in the Fall. I was just starting to tell a few family members and the kids I coach. I knew the course, it has a special place in my heart and I ran my fastest time there. It’s in the fall, by my birthday and I figured it would also give me the right amount of time to train to get down to running a little bit faster more comfortably. I was excited about Long Beach! I knew I would be able to do it there.
So just in case you missed all the social media buzz about it or are living under a large rock, it is National Running Day! I run so therefore I’m celebrating! Here are a few ways to take part, give back and plain old just have fun on the run.
Women’s running is having a special deal - A yearly subscription (10 issues) for only a $1 an issue! Continue reading
I’m super excited to announce that I will be a part of the 26 Strong Program with Saucony! When KSwiss discontinued my shoes that I was running in last fall, I struggled to find a pair of shoes for my apparently super sensitive feet. I ran in a few different brands and within 2-4 miles of running in shoes, if they weren’t going to work, my toes started bleeding. It’s so strange and discouraging because I wanted to find a shoe that worked for me. I finally tried out the Saucony Guide 7′s and after a few runs with them I realized that I had found a winner! My feet were happy and I’ve put over 815 miles on 3 different pairs of Guides since I started running in them.
When Saucony reached out to me regarding the 26 Strong program, I was both honored and flattered! I love their shoes and this is an awesome opportunity to train a ‘cadet’ to their first marathon. I immediately thought of one of my best friends, Nina, and her little sisters Andi and Natalie. They all love to run and we had talked about running a half or full together at some point, but it was a lot of talk and no action. I thought working with any of them would be great and we could all run a race together. Andi was excited about the possibility of running a marathon and before I knew it we were talking about training plans and picking a race!