My pace for my long runs each week leading up to that 10K went like this: 9:55, 9:53, 9:36, 10:12 (ran with a friend), 9:26, 9:30, 9:20, 9:12, 9:02, 8:48, 9:18, 8:52, 8:44, 8:39, 8:51, 8:44, 8:44, 8:33, 8:47. I started with 6 miles the first week, and toward the end, I was running 12 mile long runs each week, all at a sub-9:00 pace. I only ran a handful of sub-8:00 miles throughout my entire training, but somehow, during that 10K race, I managed to pull off a 7:55 average pace. It boggles my mind now--and it seems SO impossible to ever get to that point again!
|This was the best, and most excited, I've ever felt after a run! Probably|
because it was so unexpected and I wasn't actually trying to do it.
Anyway, my current PR is 49:23, so I'm aiming for 49:22 or better. I wrote out a plan that is 20 weeks long--the first 11 weeks will focus on training for a 52:00 10K time (if I was to jump into PR training right away, I wouldn't even be able to hit pace for the workouts). Then, the following 9 weeks will focus on training for a 49:00 10K (assuming I'm successful at getting my 10K time down to 52:00).
I have the schedule written for five days a week, but my Sunday three-mile run will be optional--so I'll most likely just be running four days a week. I'll be doing speed work on Tuesdays and tempo runs on Thursdays. I'm actually looking forward to doing those again, especially because I'm not marathon training! The distance (for even the training) is so much shorter.
Even though I don't have a goal race picked out yet, I'm going to start following the schedule next week (I'm excited to get started). If all goes well, I should be able to shoot for a spring race. I was planning to aim for a fall race, but training through the summer is killer. I think I would have a better chance of hitting my goal in the spring. And if I don't, then I can try again in the fall.
Today, I decided to do a short tempo run--10 minutes at easy pace, 10 minutes at tempo pace (8:23-8:36/mi), and 10 minutes at easy pace. I actually brought music with me today--that was the first time in about two years that I listened to music while running! I hoped it would motivate me a little while I was doing the tempo segment. I thought I sent my workout to my watch, but once I got outside, I realized it hadn't been sent, so I spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to set up the workout. Finally, I just set the run/walk function to beep at 10 minute intervals, and I would just manually press the lap button every 10 minutes.
The first 10 minutes, I just kept reminding myself, "Keep it easy, keep it easy..." because I knew it was going to feel really hard for the second 10 minutes. It was SUPER windy, and right around the time I started the tempo pace, I turned a corner and was heading almost directly into the wind. It was tough!
I'm used to running by mileage rather than time, so I wasn't sure exactly where I would end up at the 15-minute mark when it was time to turn around. Turning around gave me a bit of a relief from the wind, but it was still coming in sideways. That 10 minutes at tempo pace felt like forever! Finally, at 20 minutes into the run, I was able to slow down again.
Almost immediately, my abdominal muscles cramped up really badly. This is something that has been happening on the last several runs I've done, and it's never happened to me before, so I have no clue why it is now. My entire abdomen, from the bottom of my ribs down to just past my belly button, gets extremely tight and painful. It's not my internal organs--just my muscles. It even happened the second I started running the Chocolate 5K with Eli, and that was at a really slow pace.
Today, the cramping was so severe that I had to take a walk break. Once the cramping subsided a bit, after a minute or two, I started a slow jog again. When I got home, and checked out my stats, I saw that I did manage to stick to my tempo pace despite the wind--average for that 10 minutes was 8:26/mile.
Today was humbling in that I realized that I have a LOT of work in front of me if I am going to PR the 10K. I'm in nowhere near the shape I was in then. Since I did it before, I know it's possible... it's just going to take everything I have to make it happen! ;) And in some ways, I'm really looking forward to putting all of my effort into this goal. (Remind me of that when I'm complaining about speed work in a few weeks, haha).