Now that the half is over, I need a new goal. I actually started developing one nearly a month (if not more!) before I was even finished training for the half. I knew it wasn't going to be 26.2 right away due to the time it takes (and who wants to run a warm weather marathon?!?!) but I wanted a new challenge that would help me (somewhat) maintain my distance so that if I ever wanted to run a half again (and we have established after the fact that I do) I wouldn't have to start from scratch. All that to say, I decided I wanted to work on my speed. I'm aiming for the Rumpshaker 5K at the end of this month, but the program has me going a little past that time-wise, so if I don't meet my ultimate goal on March 27, I should be able to find another race shortly thereafter.
I've chosen an intermediate 5K training program that incorporates "X"x400 interval work, tempo runs, regular mileage and long runs up to about 8 miles. Last night I decided to modify the long run distances to push up to 10-11 miles so that I'll either be prepared to run Talladega 21000 (looking less and less likely from a mental perspective in 2010) or the Country Music 1/2 at the end of April. My best friend, Wendy, is training for the full but my understanding is that the half and full courses are together for much of the time (much like Mercedes) and I think this might be a lot of fun. She and I run at nearly the same pace which is also convenient so it's not like "oh let's do this together" while one person is screaming out 7 minute miles and the other person is huffing it out at an 11 min/mile pace.
Back to the 5K. While not a lofty goal for those elite folk out there, I would like to run a sub-30 minute 5K, which averages just faster than 6mph (10 min miles). It's a completely different mindset for me to go out for 3 miles and give it everything until I'm spent, instead of training for the long haul and needing to conserve for a longer distance (be it 6, 10 or 13.1 miles). I keep telling myself that if I could maintain a 11:30 min mile for the first 10K of the half (and didn't feel spent and had plenty of fuel to keep going for another 7 miles) then certainly I can pick up knowing that I only need to go 3.1! Hell, I run nearly 3 miles just doing IW where my fast 400s (.25 mile) are at 9min miles and I am fine at end. So, we'll see.
I'm in week #2 of the training program and this is what I did last week:
Sunday: 3 miles with running buddy, Amy
Monday: 4 x 400 Intervals for a total running distance of 2.75 (3 with wu/cd)--fast intervals at 6.5mph, recovery jog at 5.1mph
Tuesday: Rest (and I didn't have to work late this week!!)
Wednesday: 2 mile run...did 1st mile at 5.5mph (slightly under 11 min mile) and it felt too slow, so I kicked the 2nd one up to 5.7mph (total distance: 2.5miles)
Thursday: 30 minute tempo run (1st 5 minutes easy pace..5.1mph, next 20 at a comfortably hard pace...5.5mph and it completely kicked my butt...5 minutes at same easy pace) I think the running distance here was somewhere between 2.7 and 2.9 miles (total mileage: 3.1?) also came home and did Ab Ripper X (from P90X) with Matt
Saturday: 6 miles probably at 5.1 or 5.2mph pace (The schedule actually calls for 5, but I'm modifying as state above)
I have to document for myself that Thursday's run was REALLY painful and I can't figure out why. Wearing same shoes and socks as usual but I got very painful shin spilts about halfway through the run and then with about 10 minutes left, my whole left foot started to go numb. I don't think my shoes were tied any tighter than normal and the shoes also have plenty of life in them (I got them mid-Jan). Also, the 5.5 mph pace was KILLING me which I think is funny, because the day before it felt "too slow". Must be something about the tempo nature of the run, which works on the lactate threshold. After 2 weeks of them, I do think tempo runs are my least favorite and that the IW are my favorite...very challenging but with respite! I have a love/hate relationship with my long runs. On one hand, I feel so accomplished at the end. On the other hand, sometimes getting in the mental groove and letting go can be a challenge for me. And with that, it's to lace up and go!