Wednesday, August 1, 2012
July--a turning point month
My July run totals include the following stats: Total Miles: 73.85 miles Total Duration: 14:09:54 Average Pace: 11:31 Longest Run: 13.1 miles (half marathon) Number of Races: 3 (including one P.R.) Now I realize that 73 miles is probably a minimum of where I should be in marathon training right now, and that professional runners run that much in 1 week, but I'm still really happy with how far I've come since those days in May and June where I was still struggling to put solid runs together without a walking break. It's amazing the role that ADEQUATE nutrition makes...I simply wasn't eating enough food, or enough of the right foods. As soon as I changed those two factors, it was as if a light switch was turned on. (And yes, this really should be a no-brainer, but I just can't get over how FAST that turnaround was for me.) I'm also happy with the attitude change. In past years, I dreaded some long runs, while this past month and a half, I've approached each run with a healthy balance of slight fear and total kick-assery "you got this" attitude. Isn't that what halfway decent running should be like? Balancing that mental game with a respect for the distance while stoking that confidence level just a bit? My average pace is another source of smiles for me. 11:31? For years my pace has been 12:00, and even that was more like "12:00 for shorter runs, not long ones." Here is where I see such a huge difference due to my weight loss. Exciting! I see this as only improving...maybe not a whole lot more for the time being (meaning prior to the marathon), but these changes are definitely sustainable. The month of August should be an even higher mileage total, as my long runs will begin venturing into the mid to upper teens starting this weekend. On another note, I've also been reading my "free" book that I got from CARA, Hal Higdon's "Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide"...and I think that after the marathon, my goal will be to eventually run around 30 miles per week, also adding in one day of speed training. Still formulating these goals, however. I've read bits and pieces of HH's book before in different editions, but this is the first time I've tackled it as a straight read. While a good chunk of it is stuff I already kinda knew (after learning in bits and pieces over the past 5 years or so), in general, it's a good read with lots of wisdom about running from HH as expert, and all sorts of personal stories from running greats to regular people just like you and me. If you're into running for the long haul, consider checking it out for tips and pointers to help you tweak your performance. I know I will continue to use this as a resource as I set a training plan for the fall and winter. Bring on August!