Week 5: “I love half marathon training!”

This was a good week! I’m writing this on Sunday, feeling very pleased with how things went. I’m resting today and fighting the urge to run because I want to keep the momentum going, but I also know I need a day off. I want to hold onto this feeling.

Monday: I organized a ladies running meet-up at Wash Park for Galentine’s Day. I didn’t actually run because I was watching people’s coats and such, but I used the time to stretch and chat with the lovely ladies who were there. Such good energy to start the week.

The Future is Female

Tuesday : I requested a running date for Valentine’s Day and then seriously regretted it when the alarm went off and it was below 30 degrees outside. Dan and I parked at Beverly Heights Park and started running up Lookout. It was windy and cold and all I wanted was to be back in bed, cuddling. A mile in, I was like ‘I’m done here’ and we turned around and ended up exploring the neighborhoods at the base of the mountain for a couple miles, which was actually pretty cool. Then we got coffee and it was all good. I ran a few very slow miles alone after work while listening to an episode of Radiolab. I was happy to get in almost 8 miles for the day.

Wednesday: Sunrise 6k! The November Project tribes from all over host a free 6k race every  winter. Denver’s was this past Wednesday and we challenged the racers down at NP NOLA in a battle to see which tribe is faster. Dan and I got to Cheesman at cold-dark:thirty to warm up for a few miles and I was feeling pretty meh. Honestly, I was just grumpy. Luckily for me, Robyn was there waiting and we ran about a mile and a half and then it was time to go.

Despite coaching from Robyn and Dan not to, I always start out too hard and then die. I know this isn’t the best way to race but I’m kinda whatever about it. My goal for the race was to average 6:50 pace. The first mile was 6:39, then 6:49, then 6:55, with the final .6 at 6:50 pace. It looks like I kept getting slower every mile, but I actually felt really consistent and strong throughout the race. If you look at my GAP pace on Strava, it shows that the slower second mile was due to slight elevation gain.  I was running near Erin, Robyn, and Charis (and Ellie) pretty much the entire time. Erin and Robyn ended up coming in first and second, but I never let them out of my sight, which I was proud of myself for. I was happy with the 6:47 average. I didn’t manage a cool-down run because I was actually too cold to do anything.

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Finish line face. Photo Credit: Eric Einstein Photography

After work, I went for another slow easy afternoon run to listen to a podcast. I’m trying to make this a habit (at least when the weather is as nice as it’s been!). It’s a great way to unwind and I love the uninterrupted podcast time. That all added up to 8.2 miles for the day.

Thursday: After a few extra early wake-up calls, I needed to sleep in and made the choice to skip out on PlayGldn Dino Ridge repeats. I slept for over 9 hours then ran home from work in the sunshine later in the day. Even though I normally do some sort of hill work at least once a week, I can totally tell that I’ve lost a lot of my strength on the trails. My run home via South Table Mesa was pretty much a slog, even though nothing hurt or was sore. I just had no oomph.

Home sweet home.

Friday: I woke up before my alarm with a ton of energy. Dan and I had plans to run to work together with some added mileage doing hill repeats on Rimrock Road along the way. I did about 2 miles of repeats in the middle of the run, which felt hard but good. This was a beautiful morning and I finally was out of my grumpy funk. I woke up before my alarm, ran 7 miles, and still got to work early.

#lifepoints

Saturday: I’ve been running my long runs with other people (err, Robyn and Meaghan) which has been such fun. This weekend, I had plans to run with Danielle, a friend visiting from LA. But because of a late-arriving flight, it didn’t work out so it was just me and Dan. We picked Coot Lake as our starting point. I decided to run 13.1 miles (which Dan thought was weird) and wanted to get in a couple miles at race pace, but otherwise I had no plans. Coot Lake is in north Boulder, right next to the Boulder Reservoir and surrounded by dirt and county roads that are made for running. We aren’t the only ones who thought so, and there were tons of people out. It almost looked like a race going on, but from what we could tell, it was a group run with Revolution Running.

I started and felt slow and heavy. The first 2 miles were at an 8:30 pace and felt hard. I immediately told myself that I wouldn’t be able to run fast and that I just needed to finish. By mile 6, I was finally starting to warm up (Note to self: it takes awhile! Prepare for that on race day.) and made my way off the gravel path around the lake and onto the road. I decided that at mile 7, I wanted to lock into goal race pace (7:14). This felt like the longest mile of my life. It would.not.end. But finally, my watch beeped at 7:12. I thought ‘okay, I’m glad that’s over with because I definitely can’t do it again.’ A half mile later, I was relaxed and realized that yeah, I could do it again. So, I decided, I would lock back in at mile 9. I hit mile 9 in 6:52 and felt pretty good. I took mile 10 easy and was ready for one last tempo mile at 11. Mile 11 was a struggle, which was great preparation for race  day. I kept telling myself things like ‘make it more comfortable’ and reminded myself of what it’s going to feel like at mile 11 on April 9th. I was really pleased to hit it in 7:07. With how hard I was working for it, I would have been disappointed if it had been over 7:14. I cooled down and was that person running around the parking lot until my watch hit 13.1. I stretched while waiting for Dan to finish his own incredible run.

This week, I told Robyn “I love half marathon training!” And I do right now. I’m really enjoying keeping my mileage around 40, with some quality runs. It’s fun to get to see progress.

Total mileage: 41.4

Total climbing: ~2,400 feet

High: turning things around and hitting three tempo miles during Saturday’s long run

Low: grumpy running on Tuesday and Wednesday morning (pre-6k)

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