This is my increase week. After two weeks at 25 miles per week. I am due for 27 this week (Mon-Sun). I wanted 13 today so I adjusted the rest of my schedule accordingly. Tues - 2 miles; Wed - 4 miles and Thurs - 2 miles. Sat - 13 miles and Sun 6 miles.
I did my 2 miles on Tuesday at the Audobon Loop HILL. I need hill work. I parked at the gravel lot and jogged over to the hill for warm up. I set my gymboss for 30 sec and 15 seconds. When I got to the hill I started the timer. I ran steady up for 30 seconds then walked down for 15. I repeated this four times. On the fourth time I continued past the beep to the top of the hill (the old stone tower). I'm happy to say I was almost there anyway. I turned around and jogged back down and back to the gravel lot for a total of 2 miles. Eventually
On Wednesady I met John T at the Chester Valley trail for a little over 4 miles total. I like these weekday runs with John and other Phillyfitters. I end up going much faster than I would alone and that's good for me.
Thursday I taught new member orienation at work. Typically I bag my runs after NMO. I am drained after them. I love doing them but it's a lot of work being 'on' for 8 hours. And for a girl who prefers sneakers or bare feet even the smallest heel is difficult for that long. But I'm really trying to have no tolerance for excuses so I brought my running gear to work and changed there. I stopped at Ridley Creek State Park and went out for two miles. It was awful. I did it but it was awful. It hurt and I felt like crap. However, I was pretty excited that I did it anyway.
I came into today determined to focus on my breathing and my posture. My watch was set to beep at mile intervals where I could take a walk break. For the most part I stuck to that. There were a few extra breaks; at the turnaround, the restrooms and one stop for gravel removal from John's shoe. I ran the first 3 with Russ, Maggi and John T. The next 2 with Maggi and John and the remaining miles with John. Bless him for sticking it out when he had only planned to do 9 or 10. Running really is better with buddies. :)
Focusing on my breathing was to keep me from going out too fast. I decided it didn't matter what this did to my run pace I have 6 miles tomorow I didn't want to be dreading that. I focused on my posture to avoid fatigue in my neck and shoulders. It worked :). I'm happy to say the limiting factor in today's run was my legs. By mile 11 they were feeling quite heavy. Even that wasn't terribly bad. I was certainly happy to be done at 13 but I also felt like I could have gone another mile if I really had do.
I am really happy with the pace too. It was a comfortable I-can-still-talk pace. Yet when I checked it periodically (about once each mile) it was around 10:20-10:30. With the walk breaks the overall pace was 11:36. Not bad for me right now. I have a long way to go to get to my 2:15 half marathon but I also have 8 months to get there.
I was pleased that through mile 10 I was not looking at my watch begging it to move faster to the walk break. I was often pleasantly surprised when it beeped.
Next week is the 4th week in this plan I've worked up so only 13 miles total for the week. All I have to do is get through the 6 tomorrow. After the successes of today I'm NOT dreading that. Of course my legs might be telling me a different story tomorrow morning but I'll get through it.
SUNDAY UPDATE: I finished the 6 miles. My legs actually felt ok this morning. Alleve at bedtime helped. My brain however was a little skeptical. I debated going out of my neighborhood - maybe on some trail at RCSP. In the end I decided on two 3 mile ciruits around my house. This way I wouldnt have to carry my water belt. I left it on the front porch and stopped their for a drink after 3 then continued on. I set my gymboss for 3 and 1's but put it in my jacket pocket. I only wanted to use that for backup. I really wanted to continue with 1 mile intervals. I didn't have to resort to the gymboss. :) My pace was pretty slow but also fairly steady and I only walked at the mile breaks for 1 minute each time. So all in all a good outing.
Oh and someone commented that 2:30 is slower than 10:20-10:30 pace. That is true. I should have made clear that was only through the first 10. I slowed up in the last three.