This week I continued to add mileage, finishing the week with 78 miles. Although I had some pretty frigid temperatures to contend with, I was thankful most of the ice had melted on the roads and sidewalks.
My first quality session of the week had me sprinting uphill, a total of 20 times, at 10K race effort (notice I said effort, and not pace. My 10K effort running uphill is not nearly as fast as my 10K effort on a flat road!). My sprints were about 30 seconds each with an easy jog back downhill. The 20 trips up and down the hill equaled four miles in total. I started the run with an easy four mile warm up and ended with an easy four mile cool down.
My second quality session this week was a progressive run. After a four mile warm up, I ran seven miles, starting at 7:40 pace, and aiming to run each successive mile ten seconds faster than the previous mile. This means my last mile was supposed to be around 6:40, and in reality it was 6:43. I finished that work out with a two mile cool down. I'm not going to lie, that last mile felt hard, harder than I thought it should. I did this work out on the treadmill, because I really like to run the progressive portion without having to stop at traffic lights or be on the lookout for cars, cracks in the sidewalks, etc.
My long run this weekend was an easy paced run, my first 20 mile run of the training cycle. My average pace was 8:01, which falls into my easy pace range. Last summer a lot of my long runs were quite a bit faster than this, and I'm wondering if that played a part in feeling a little burned out and not as rested as usual when I ran my fall marathon.
I am doing much better with my goal of stretching after every run, and I have to admit I do feel better because of it. My often cranky hamstring seems to have a little more flexibility than it did a month ago. I have added something else to my list of things to improve upon: being a better cheerleader for myself. This past week I had two experiences that made me realize I am by far my own worst critic. Not just in my running, but in every area of my life. I'm sure many of you can relate. Earlier this week, a close friend and co-worker that I respect very much made a comment that they were discussing my running ability with someone else, and they referred to it as "special". Huh? I was floored. And flattered. I'm not saying this for head pats or compliments, but that is not an adjective I would use to describe my running. Yesterday, after posting a picture from my long run on Instagram, a friend commented "You must be really proud of that run". Proud? Nope. Never. I spent a fair amount of time during that run grumbling at myself for my mile splits, even though I was hitting the prescribed paces without any struggle. So why the negativity? Time to change my mindset. I'll leave this to running, but let's just say I follow a similar pattern with every area of my life: my relationships, my job, the list goes on and on. It's such a 180 from how I feel about everyone else in my life and their accomplishments. I am constantly blown away by the feats of the members of the studio where I coach classes, and the runners I coach. So why shouldn't I be as positive with myself? I challenge all of you to do the same.