May Wrap Up & Looking Ahead

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Is half way through June too late to be writing a May wrap up post? Coming off my post half marathon PR high, I had full intentions of writing up a few blog posts on my mind. I should know by now that months of training + big race = needing a break for me. The last two weeks have been action packed with birthday celebrations, Kindergarten field days, outings with friends, and not much running. While I fully intended to take a step back from running following my race, I didn’t really mean for it to be such a big step back. Mentally and physically I think I needed this break from running and training, especially  before diving back in to fall race training. But before that, let’s recap May since it will drive me crazy if I reach December and have done a month in review for every month but one!

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Obviously the biggest part of May was getting to run my goal race of the spring. After training hard, hitting some speed bumps along the way, and wavering on what my goal pace (if any) should be I hit my original goal and then some. May wasn’t my strongest month in terms of milage or even feeling good on my runs, but there was no better way to end the month than with a new half PR. One cool thing about Boston’s Run to Remember was that it had free race photos. And they were awesomely hilarious! Remember the part where I mentioned feeling like I was going to throw up just before the finish line? Luckily I have zero poker face and there was a photographer there to catch my grimacing face.

I have seriously looked at these pictures and laughed a dozen times. It’s like the photographer captured my whole thought sequence – Ugh, I feel like I’m going to be sick. Okay, hold it together. Oh shit! There’s the photographer; don’t throw up on camera! 😂😂😂

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At the end of every training cycle I like to see how it compared to the one before. For both this half and my previous one I based my training on Run Less, Run Faster. The first time around I followed it diligently with 3 key runs each week + 2 days of cross-training. This time I wanted to experiment with higher mileage so instead of cross-training I added in an additional day of running and kept those to an easy pace.

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One of the biggest things that I think helped me improve were more runs over 10 miles. I ran more than twice as many long runs this time around including four runs at 13 miles or longer. This really helped me at the end of the race feel like I had energy and could pick up the pace. Adding in an extra day of running and increasing my mileage also contributed to my feeling strong at the end of the race. And maybe the biggest advantage this time around was experience. When I first trained for the Wallis Sands Marathon I was an occasional runner compared to this race where I had recently completed a full marathon and had been running consistently for a full year prior to this training cycle.

So what’s next? My motivation to run is largely driven by a goal. At times is been distance driven, time driven, race specific driven, or mileage driven. Right now what’s motivating to me is to try to increase my pace and PR at the marathon distance. I love running and the feeling of accomplishment in it, but not enough to always motivate me to get my shoes on and hit the treadmill or head out the door. I need some goal to push me to run and the idea of chasing down a marathon PR is where I’m leaning. There’s a local race I have my eye on, but there are a few others I want to research before committing. More to come!

What are your fall race plans?
What motivates you to run?

 

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7 thoughts on “May Wrap Up & Looking Ahead

  1. I love the comparison b/w trainings! You really killed your previous PR!! LOVE IT and it’s so inspiring. After my 1/2 PR this past February, it was the confidence booster I needed to tackle my marathon goal this November. Looking forward to seeing what race you decide!

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    • Thanks, Helly! I loooove to analyze and compare my training cycles!! Something about putting everything into a spreadsheet is soothing to me – I’ve been doing this type of thing since high school!
      I’m excited that we are both training for a fall marathon. I love following your running and it will be nice to have someone else in the same training boat as me!

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  2. Like you, I tend to be motivated by goals as well. But lately the pendulum has swung the other way for me. Being in constant time-goal-chasing mode has led to a lot of pressure and stress, and to be honest, it’s really getting old. It’s been nice to take an extended step back, get some perspective, and run for fun. While yes, it is easier to skip workouts, in some ways I’m more motivated to run because I actually want to run now instead of just feeling like I have to.

    I think my upcoming 10K training and race season is a good compromise for me. I’m excited to start training and improving my fitness again, but I have a completely different mindset, strategy and goals for this training cycle, and I am really eager to switch gears for a while and do something fresh.

    Are you planning to use the same training plan for your marathon? Eager to follow along again!

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    • It sounds like this is a great change of pace for you! It’s funny how it can change – sometimes a certain goal is extremely motivating and other times it can feel like that goal is sucking the joy out of something. I’m excited to see how your new perspective influences your running and racing!
      I do think I’ll use a mostly RLRF based training plan, but adding 1-2 easy/recovery run days. I don’t think I could ever be a 6 or 7 day/week runner, but 4-5 seems doable to me.

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      • I can’t run 6x a week either. I tried to do that in my last plan and it just…wasn’t for me. I like high mileage as much as the next gal but the monotony was too much. I found that 5x a week is my sweet spot. Personally, I find it more beneficial to run fewer times but farther each time, than to run more days but have shorter runs that don’t really boost my aerobic endurance as much or sufficiently tire me out. Plus I just love rest days too much!!

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  3. It’s absolutely not too late to post a review for May…’specially as I still haven’t posted mine! Great month Katrina and again congratulations on the awesome HM PR – the training plan comparison is really useful and you certainly saw the results this time around…knocking 8 minutes off a half is huge and very difficult to accomplish…super month, look forward to hearing what’s next!

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    • Lol, glad to have another procrastinator in the fold! You’ve had good reason though – visit with your mom, new job, & marathon #8 just around the corner! Can’t wait to read your May and race recaps!

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