I’m in week 11 of 14 on my half marathon training plan and this training cycle has been like no other. For one, I’m training with a running group that has an actual coach who gives us advice on how to improve and has actual speed work plans for us each week. We also have a cross training day together and a long run day every Saturday morning. Aside from that, there is a specific schedule provided that I am following as closely as I possibly can with my busy life.
With all of that being said, the one day of speed training seems to really be helping me. My shortest run each week is typically 5 miles, which means I’ve had some of my highest mileage weeks to date.
My first road race during this training program was a 10 mile race this past Saturday called “The Early Bird 10 Miler”. I had never ran a 10 mile race before, but I believe I ran my best race to date. I maintained an average pace of 7:50/mile for the entire race. I think it helped that I was running on very familiar trails, and I had the encouragement of some of my running group cheering me on at various water stations and cheer stations along the way. Our coach was especially hilarious wearing bunny ears and cheering us on as we ran along!
Since I’m my worst critic, I will say that this race was not as perfect as I would have liked, despite being a PR caliber race for me. Mainly, I’m disappointed by the way I ran the last part of the race, specifically the last quarter of a mile. Why? Because another woman passed me on the final straightaway to the finish! I really feel as though I should have pushed myself a bit harder at the end, but at the same time, I know I left everything out there when racing. So I suppose there is always room to learn no matter what type of race you run. I know others that were disappointed by their entire race on Saturday, and I have definitely been there before. I am very thankful that my race was, for the most part, a success. However, I am also looking forward to additional improvements in my running performance, because I think there is always room for them!
This week following the race I have been lowering my mileage somewhat as my legs are admittedly quite sore! Foam rolling and Epsom salt baths are awesome for working on easing leg pain! Regardless, I am still planning on getting my speed workout in this week, as I believe that extra workout has largely contributed to my latest race performance. Now, time for me to get into an Epsom salt bath! 🙂 Happy running, everyone!