Another week of training in the books for Indy Monumental. I ran 70 miles this past week and am feeling really good. My favorite runs this week were:
Wednesday - 13 total miles. I started with a 2 mile warm up and then launched into a series of 2 x 4 miles at marathon pace. The first set averaged 6:55. In between sets I ran one recovery-ish mile at 7:48. The second set of 4 miles was progressive: 6:54, 6:49, 6:43, 6:38. The run ended with a 2 mile cool down. I think the second set actually felt better than the first set in spite of it being faster.
Saturday - long run day! 21 miles at 8:00 average pace. I was so encouraged by this run not because of this pace, but because of how low my average heart rate was! The temperature was definitely cooler than what I've been running in the last few months but this was the lowest recorded heart rate I could find for a run of similar pace and distance in similar conditions. Over the last few months I've really tried to keep my heart rate in zone 2 or 3 for my easy runs and although it was often frustrating because the splits on my watch were slower than what I wanted, I feel like I'm finally getting some benefit for being patient.
In two weeks I am running a half marathon that will hopefully have similar weather conditions. I haven't run a lot of half marathons since my primary focus has always been the marathon distance, and my PR of 1:30:04 is soft when compared to my marathon PR. Hopefully this will be my chance to lower my PR! And if I'm being completely honest, knowing I'm 5 seconds away from running a sub 1:30 half makes me a little crazy.
Something new I am working on, courtesy of the book I just finished, Peak Performance: mindfulness. Basically, it involves getting comfortable in a quiet space, and focusing solely on your breathing and the accompanying sensations. It's inevitable you get distracted by your thoughts, so the goal is to acknowledge that thought, and return your focus to your breath. I am starting with very short sessions, setting my phone timer for one minute. Clearly I have a lot of work to do because I struggle mightily being mindful for only one minute!! Increasing your ability to be completely present in the moment can benefit every area of your life, not just your running, so I will keep trying!
I'm sad to see summer fade into fall - it went by so quickly, like it always does. So cheers to Summer 2017, and here's to great things ahead!