Fall Race Training Week 1

After having spent the last 6 weeks building my base of miles, it felt good to begin following a training plan with my eyes set on future run. This week was all about strength building and getting some longer runs into the mix.  Total miles for the week was 25.

Monday 4 miles, easy

Tuesday 4 miles, hills

Thursday 4 miles, easy

Friday 4 miles, easy

Saturday 9 miles, easy

I ran a 10:00/mile pace for all miles this week, which is what my plan suggests if working towards a 4:00 marathon goal.  For the first time, I am training with both pace and heart-rate goals.  The pace goal is the priority, but I am focusing on my heart-rate as I run to attempt to maintain a more consistent effort throughout the run.  I have a tendency to start too slow and then have to exert myself at some point during the run to get my pace back on track.

During my long run on Saturday, my first mile was about 30 seconds off pace and I didn’t fuel properly during the run which caused me to have another mile that was over a minute off pace during the middle of the run.  This required me to run a couple of 9 minute miles at the end of the run to achieve my goal pace.  It was amazing to see my hear-race spike 30 beats per minute higher as I pushed to get back on pace.

I realize that to be successful at longer distances I am going to have to manage my effort more effectively so that I have the energy to run the later miles at the goal pace.

Note to self:  In every area of life, consistency in effort everyday will take me much farther than sporadic, short, gut-sprints followed by long periods of rest.

My primary goal for next week is to manage my pace early in each training run and make sure that I have the right fuel on board to stay energized and not lose time.  The plan is to increase miles by 3 (adding them to the mid-week runs).

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Good Intentions and Regrets

The question is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what He intended us to be when He made us. C. S. Lewis

This quote came across my Twitter feed earlier this week.  I must confess that I spent an entire 4 mile run meditating on it.  This one really hits home for me.

I have a tendency to constantly look over my shoulder to see what mistakes I have made in the past OR to grab the binoculars and look way out in front of me to see if I can figure out how things are going to turn out.  Both are a waste of time and energy.

I know that I can’t change the past and I can’t alter my present place in the world by dwelling on poor decisions and missed opportunities and absolute mistakes and failures. I take comfort knowing that the God who created me has yet to be surprised by anything that I have done. And He is working out ALL things to my good…

I also know that no matter how smart I may think that I am, I have no idea what God is up to today, much less in the distant future.  I can trust that He has it worked out and that He has my best interests at heart.

So where does that leave me? Right here in the present.  Where I am supposed to be.  The way I see it, I have only a couple of responsibilities in the present:

1. Love ,trust, and worship God sincerely with all my heart.

2.  Draw closer to Him each day.

I think that’s about it really.

So what does this have to do with running?

It frees me from performance.  It allows me to savor every mile as I run, knowing that God has all of the details worked out.  And not just while running, but while living.

God intended to make me a lover and worshiper of Him.  In every aspect of my life, if I will make THIS THE PRIORTY, then God will make Himself responsible for all of the outcomes.  I can stop regretting the past and worrying about the future.

I think that I can handle that.

Learning To Be Short-Sighted

I decided over the last month or so that I am going to train this summer/fall to PR at the half marathon and marathon distance in the fall/spring running season.  You should know that I have only completed one half marathon and one marathon ever.  The half marathon was at a 9:00 minute pace and I ran it 4 days before I had a hernia surgery.  The marathon was at a 10:00 minute pace and my training went so poorly that I almost backed out altogether about a month before the race. So this isn’t exactly a “reaching for the moon” sort of goal.

The 16 week training plan that I am following started with 2 days of easy 4 mile runs, at a 10:00 pace.  I went out the last 2 mornings and nailed those runs, not pushing myself to go faster, just following the plan.  I caught myself about half way through this morning’s run questioning whether or not this training would work? Will it be enough to get me to my goals? Will I be able to do it? Or will I quit before I ever get started? Again.

Literally, day 2 of a 16 week training program and I am already focusing on the results at the end.  This is an area of weakness for me. (Perhaps I should have put that in bold, all caps, underlined, italicized, and lots of exclamation points). And it affects all aspects of my life really. I doubt whether the actions that I am taking today will give me the results that I want in the future and this doubt literally handcuffs me.  I think “it probably won’t work any way so why bother doing anything.”

But I am not going to let the stinkin’ thinkin’ get the best of me this time. I may not end up where I think that I am headed, but I will end up exactly where God wants me to be. And where I need to be.

Check out this video. It’s what I am really trying to say.

I Am Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave

And somebody message me tomorrow and remind me of this. I have a feeling that I am going to need it.