I ended 2016 with a solid week of training, in spite of a stomach virus that kicked off my week. I ran a total of 68 miles this week and introduced some 10K pace intervals into a mid week run that consisted of 16 x 200 m at 10K effort with 200 m easy recovery in between. I felt a little rusty during the first few rounds and by the end of the work out was feeling more like myself. My second work out of the week was a 12 mile run that had 5 miles at marathon effort sandwiched in the middle. My Saturday long run also had a bit more effort than my standard easy run. The goal was a negative split, meaning the second half of the run needed to be faster than the first half. My overall average per mile pace for the 16 miles was 7:49 - first half was run at 7:58 per mile, the second half at 7:41 per mile. Success!
Prior to heading out for my easy run this morning, I registered for the Detroit Free Press Marathon, which will be held on Sunday, October 15th. This race was the site of my very first marathon in 2008, where I finished in 3:31. Running a sub 3:00 marathon in my hometown race would be amazing, but I have a lot of work to do in the next 9.5 months to make this happen! This year the Free Press Marathon is celebrating it's 40th year, and so am I, so it seemed like a perfect fit.
My ultimate running goal at the present moment is to run a sub 3:00 marathon. In pursuit of this goal I have set some smaller goals, the first of which is working on my flexibility. Confession time: I never stretch after my run. Never. I used to stretch and do yoga religiously. Lately it seems as if I end my run and immediately jump to my next commitment, whether it's helping my daughters get ready for school, heading to the studio to teach classes, etc. I can definitely feel the loss of flexibility and it's not going to do me any favors as I ramp up my intensity and mileage. My other goal is to keep my easy/recovery runs truly easy. I know I'm not alone in this struggle. I need to check my ego at the door and remind myself of the benefits of an easy aerobic run. I recently replaced my no longer functioning Garmin HRM - Run chest strap to pair with my Garmin 735xt. This will help me keep the pace honest. Minneapolis Running has a great article about the benefits of easy runs here.
I started my year off with an easy seven mile run this morning and was lucky enough to see a beautiful sunrise. Another goal I forgot to mention, not falling, has unfortunately already been taken off the table. I had a YouTube worthy slip on a patch of black ice. I can blame ice for this fall, but the reality is I routinely take spills all year round. I'll be feeling the effects of this fall tomorrow!
I am really excited for 2017. In addition to running the Boston Marathon and the Detroit Free Press Marathon, I have plans to run a few smaller races. I'm also coaching some great athletes and I'm really thankful I get to take part in their journey. Happy New Year!