I've noticed that ever since the Chicago Marathon, I've really started to dread my runs. Sure, I'll never be one of those runners that can't wait to get out the door and go for a run, but I haven't dreaded running like this in a long time. So I've decided to make some changes to my running schedule.
I enjoyed running six days a week while training for Chicago, but I think I'm burnt out on it now. I'm going to go back to five days a week, and maybe just four down the road. Also, I'm not going to have target paces for my runs. There are some days that I just want to go out for a nice, long "jog", without much effort. And some days, I really want to push the pace and run hard. But it's kind of unpredictable, so I'm just going to aim for a certain mileage and run whatever pace feels comfortable that day.
I am, however, still going to have tempo runs and speed work. I'm not going to aim for a particular pace during those; I'll just run by effort level, and see what happens. This is what I used to do last winter, and I got a lot faster. I also enjoyed it, which is most important. I'm still hopeful that I can reach my new running goals for next year but if not, at least I won't dread trying ;) So, based on that, here is my revised schedule:
I like the repetition during the week. The only days that vary are Fridays and Sundays, but that is just a slight variation as well. I don't plan to do BOTH of the half-marathons that I have listed; I just have the second one on there as a back-up, in case I don't reach my goal on the first one. I'm much happier with this schedule, and I won't dread the runs like I have been.
So today, I did a 10-mile long run. It was very cold again today, a "feels like" temp of 8 degrees when I headed out. I wore my Cold Gear tights with a thin pair of yoga pants over them, a long-sleeved tech shirt with a fleece jacket, ear warmer headband, and gloves. I also put Aquaphor on my face to protect it from the wind.
The actual temp was 19 degrees, but it was pretty windy, which made it feel like, well, 8 degrees. And naturally, I had a headwind on the way out. The only positive thing about that is I knew I was going to have a tailwind for the last five miles; but that first five was BRUTAL. A couple of miles in, I was really rethinking if I should even finish it. But I kept focusing on how much better I'd feel after I turned around at mile five.
I kept hoping the sun would come out, to make me feel a little warmer, but it was completely overcast. The shoulders of the roads were very icy, so I ran on the road itself when I could, but I kept having to dodge ice patches. Once I turned around, it was so much nicer. I was still cold, but I felt a lot warmer than I had on the way out. The last five miles felt like they went by a lot faster, probably because I was more comfortable. I even took off my gloves for the last mile. My splits were ridiculously even, despite the fact that I wasn't aiming for any particular pace:
I felt really proud that I stuck it out in that cold! And, because I didn't feel pressure to keep a certain pace, I really enjoyed it (well, minus the freezing cold part).
Today was Day 3 of Simply Filling, and I did great! I earned 17 Activity PointsPlus on my run, but I wasn't sure how to spend them. Nothing really sounded very good! I developed a horrible sore throat (probably whatever Eli had), so I finally settled on ice cream, which sounded soothing. I got one of those mini containers of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia, for 6 PP. Here is today's food long:
Breakfast: scrambled egg + egg white, roasted sweet potatoes
Lunch: tuna salad sandwich, orange, pickle
Snack: cottage cheese and peaches
Snack: light English muffin with peanut butter (5 PP)
Dinner: Greek chicken sandwich (1 PP), marinated cucumbers
Long run treat: 1/2 cup B&J's Cherry Garcia (6 PP)
So I spent 12 PointsPlus total today; everything else was Simply Filling. I'm really liking the SF plan so far! I haven't been hungry, and I haven't had cravings (particularly sweet cravings). And I'm surprised that I've managed to do well with portion control, even though I don't measure things out. It's kind of liberating :)