I DID IT. I DID IT. I REALLY REALLY DID IT!
I made my 5k goal and I got that 22:00. Not only did I get that 22:00, I blasted that 22:00 to bits. I got a 22:16.3 in the 5k this past weekend! WHAT A FLIPPIN' RUSH. The fact is that this was an A-MAZING race and I felt A-MAZING from the get go. I took deep breaths. I turned my wee little overworked brain off and ran without a thought or a care in the world.
I did start a brand spanking new play list which I think helped. I was SO tired of the old one and I have literally been listening to the same stuff since gawsh I do not even know April... borrrring. For the record, I did add and delete songs from the earlier playlist but the core group of songs were the same and were starting to drive me MAD!
Music was more of a mental thing. I believe that one of things that made the difference recently has been getting back to pace and tempo runs even though they are my least favorite form of running. I did this the first year I ran because I followed Hal Higdon's training stuff but I had such bad shin splints after that first year I "took a break" that last two whole years! It was just this summer that I started testing them out again and I noticed a difference so when we started the half training schedule and those were on there I immediately thought I am skipping those and doing my own thing. I sure am glad I did not skip them and have stuck to them for the most part.
Any who, when I hit the first mile I checked my time and I was at like 6:51! I thought holy crap if I can keep this pace up I am getting this 22:00 TODAY!! I was ecstatic and off I went. It was very cold morning, like 37-ish out but sunny and bright. It was just the perfect fall morning for a fast run.
Not only did I get the time I wanted but I was the 2nd woman to finish. Albeit it was a tiny little race without some of the faster girls that usually run these races but it was such an ego boost to come in 2nd and get that time! I was practically floating!!
In review, here is the link to my original "goals/plan" from May 2012.
This is the goal I set
A 5k PR at sub 22:00 (by October 2012)
See how many 5k races I win my age group
SO I did it. I had forgotten about the "by October 2012" part. I believe I said that because I was always planning to do a half marathon in November and I probably figured I would not be running much past that into December. Who knows... I have no idea what the age group thing even means! I suppose I could re-read my own post about these goals but I do not have time. I wonder if it meant that in setting that goal I knew I needed to run very fast and a good way to ensure I was running fast was to win my age group most of time based on the times in that crowd. By running very fast and trying to win the age group. I was setting myself up for getting the time?!
Any who, super happy and excited. But also the sense of what next? In a good way. I know I would love to drop down into the 21:00 range on a regular basis and possibly even get down to the 20:00 range. But let's focus here: I still want to get a 1:36 in the half marathon in November which was the other 2012 goal I set. I feel like I know I can do the 22:00 in the 5k, that 1:36:00 goal is not as insurrmountable as it felt back in May when I made it. I have pushed really hard with training and being sore and sometimes struggling through injuries, etc. but for the most part I am super excited for the half in November!
I think the thing recently for me has to been to focus on where I started with running. In 2009, when Missy was about nine months old I decided to give it a whirl. I really just focused on the run and the stress relief is provided. I feel like in the past year running became part of my stress. I liked the goal setting but I was really just cramming in the runs and getting all worked up about missing runs and generally not helping myself with stress... like at all.
So the music mix change helped, I added more mellow or enjoyable music. Gone is some of the gangsta rap I was listening to and back is some Beatles and Dave and of course Mumford & Sons. I have also been working on a few runs outdoors with no music. It offers me the ability to listen to my breathing and hear nature. One of the original reasons I started to run in the first place. I felt I was not connecting with nature the way I did when I was younger and that made me depressed. It is easier to listen to my body without the music too. And finally I can focus on pace and form. All good things.
I feel like lately I have been running with less stress again and I am feeling so much better. It is hard because I am so used to running stressed out it has become second nature. I did decide that after the half I am taking a break. I will still run and I may even run a couple more races to round out the year but my focus will be on de-stressing my life, getting things back on track so 2013 can be a positive year.
So last week's mileage ended up like this:
Tuesday: 4.5 miles - this was solid but mellow run part on the track, part the treadmill (see below) Wednesday: 40 minute tempo run - I did the first half of this run on the tread mill, I made the decision due to ankle pain to switch to the track which just bothered my shin (HA!), glad I did. Made for a tougher but better run
Thursday: 3 miles - easy run on the track at the Y
Saturday: 5k (3.1 miles) - AWESOME (also I probably did about a mile to a mile and a half warm up due to the cold morning
Sunday: 10 miles - outside on the trail with Melissa; this was a seriously good run. I thought it would be horrible like most of the long runs after a 5k but my legs were good, I was a little tired and cold but mostly it rocked except at the end was I was ready to be done! Also, CANADIAN THANKSGIVING. Yum.
TOTAL MILEAGE: 25.5
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 9x400s pace
Thursday: 3 miles
Saturday: 5k (3.1) plus 2miles warm-up/warm-down
Sunday: 5k (3.1) plus 7 miles
Total mileage should be around: 28 miles total