Spring Half Marathon Training - Week 10

This was a weird week because it was moving week (which is also contributed to why I am a week behind posting it, in addition to the fact that I actually wrote this last week but Blogger ate it - the first time that has ever happened to me!). Despite the moving craziness, I managed to get in all of my miles and pull off a couple of hard workouts, including a new 5K PR (22:47)!

Week 10
34.6 miles
(16.4 easy / 8.2 hard / 10 long)

Monday 4/2 - 1 hour Zwift ride (14 miles)

Tuesday 4/3 - Rest day (swapped from Thursday to get some packing done)

Wednesday 4/4 - 8.4 mile tempo run (w/ 40 min @ 7:50) @ 8:36


This run was a major confidence boost! I ran an 8k at a 7:50 pace a couple years ago and an unofficial  10k at that pace a few months ago, and I think those are the only times I have ever run that far that fast. I was really unsure about my ability to pull this off but completely surprised myself by nailing this one (tempo miles were 7:49, 7:50, 7:38, 7:46, 8:06 - last one was uphill, ugh!).

Thursday 4/5 - 4 mile easy run @ 9:40

Somehow this felt a million times harder than my workout the previous day! The weather was gorgeous but I just didn't have it. Actually ended up cutting it short (was supposed to be 5 miles) to try to save my legs for my 5k tomorrow. 

Friday 4/6 - 2.1 mile WU @ 9:30 + Crystal City 5k Fridays @ 7:20 + 1 mile CD @ 10:54


Leading up to this race, everything about it made me feel nervous and uncomfortable - the logistics of getting to the race after my last day of work (I don't do well with changes in my routine), the idea of running extra miles before and after (never done that before), and the idea of running fast (always painful). I signed up for it because I had fun running it last year (well, I had fun PRing last year, anyway), my cousin wanted to do it with me, and I knew it would be my last opportunity to run a race before moving from D.C. 



The race ended up going pretty much both how I had feared and hoped: I ran fast, it was hard, and I PRed. When I ran this race last year it was the first 5k I had run in 2 years and I had completely forgotten how to pace myself in a shorter distance and the inevitable pain that comes with the 5k - good pacing or bad. It was definitely a learning experience that ended up paying off this year, particularly because I knew not to waste too much energy trying to find my pace while also trying to maneuver through the congested first half mile due to the mass start and the SEVEN (!!!) turns in the first fifth of the race.

I had just had a hard workout two days before this and by a half mile in, my legs were really feeling it. I was right on my target pace, but my steps felt heavy and I didn't know if I could hang on. I hit the mile 1 marker in 7:29 and felt a little tepid about still having two miles to go. Luckily the second mile is the easiest one of the course - gradual downhill, enough turns to alleviate boredom but not so many that there are bottlenecks, and, this year, a nice tailwind. I knew I was flying during this mile and while it didn't feel great the entire time, there were at least some periods where I felt like I was in control. Whenever I reach some level of comfort or ease during a race, no matter how brief, I always make a conscious effort to let it be easy and enjoy that feeling however long it lasts. Of course, in between those moments I was trying to convince myself to slow down, that maybe I could just run 7:45 or 8:00 or even 8:30 for the rest of the race and that that would be better. I have no idea what kept me going other than the flow of the race course. Mile 2 came in at 7:08, which I think is my fastest race mile ever (and, for that matter, one of my fastest miles ever, period).

The mile 2 marker came just after the northernmost turnaround, and from there we backtracked for a mile to get back to the start/finish. It was at that point that I remembered they had saved the hardest mile for last. All of those advantages during mile 2 became obstacles during the last mile. The inclines weren't more than 1-2% but on tired, slowing legs, they felt like mountains. I really don't know how I was able to keep my legs moving so quickly. I hit a turn with less than .75 to go and that was when I knew if I could keep it up - which felt like a big if, but not out of the question - I would have my sub-23 (I finished in 23:02 last year, which was way better than I had expecting but those 2 seconds still haunted me).

During the last half mile Pre's famous, "The best pace is a suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." popped into my head, probably because that was the first time in all of my races that I had ever truly understood its meaning. That last half mile in particular felt like a suicide mission. It hurt. It was ugly. I hit mile 3 at 7:21 and was just over 22 minutes on my watch, still with plenty of time to get to the finish before it hit 23, but I ran like my life depended on it to the finish line in 22:47 - a 15 second PR!


Saturday 4/7 - 10 mile long run @ 9:46

This was my last long run in D.C. and it would have taken me a full marathon or more to hit all of the places I really wanted to go, so I settled on a few favorite spots!




Sunday 4/8 - mile easy run @ 9:53

For my last run in D.C. I took an early morning tour of the cherry blossoms!


Next Races:
Monument Avenue 10k (4/14)
New Jersey Half Marathon (4/29)

Previous weeks:

1 comment :

  1. I hope the move went well! Moving is one of the most stressful, miserable things to do, in my experience, so I hope it went as smoothly as possible for you :) And congrats on the 5K PR! So exciting! Two PRs at the same race two years on a row - sounds like you're going to need to make that race an annual thing!

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