Rest – Recover – RUN
It’s very easy to get caught up in your routine of running 4, 5 or even 6 days a week. I’m a firm believer in doing so providing that you mix up your runs with slow and easy paced runs most of the week, add a tempo run along with a speed drill to the mix and of course, there is the ever loved or dreaded long run. While I have been logging more and more miles per week, this week was the exception. Last week I clocked in a total of 23 miles, which is a lot for me. I’m also careful to not ramp up my mileage too much. The 23 miles was a steady increase from previous weeks and months of training. In all the the big races I have trained for there was always a slow week. I don’t mean slow as in pace I mean slow as in I covered little to no mileage. In my previous blog I spoke about my trip to DC. I found out that I walked close to 15 miles that day. Tuesday to Friday I did my noon rangers so I did get some running in but nothing more than 2 miles at a time but plenty of strength and cardio to boot.
This lack of mileage was beginning to get to me. “Would I have a major set back? What if my slump came back and I had to start all over again?” All of these fears would be met on a late afternoon / early evening Friday run with Katrina. Outside of our long runs we both have been doing 3 mile runs. We knew it was time to up the mileage a bit but neither of us had run any distance more than 2 miles this week so we set out to do 3.5 to 4 miles. Since we both were quite familiar with our running path we knew we could add an extra mile and enjoy some sweet scenery along the way. Our normal 3 mile run consisted of leaving my office, running to Penn’s Landing, down the stretch of the Delaware River walkway and back. It is almost 3 miles exactly. We knew we could add in the Race Street Pier loops to extend our distance.
The weather has been perfect for running! A cool 70 degrees with a nice little breeze to boot. It may have not reached 70 that day but it felt perfect. I noticed that when I run with Katrina I start off a bit faster than I do on my own. Sometimes this worries me but in the long run, no pun intended, it is a very helpful tool. I was feeling strong during the first mile and I kept remembering what my fellow blogger Nora wrote in her recent blog and that is to run in the mile you are in. It really helped me to overcome any mental anxiety of running. I can’t wait to try it this on Sunday during our long run! We started out by running down race Street and heading towards the river. We had a hefty red light to wait at which gave us time to take a nice “selfie” of us. I love the view and running along the pier. You are under the Ben Franklin Bridge and you look out across the Delaware River to New Jersey where the bridge extends. I will never tire of that view. From the pier we headed down Delaware Ave. (now called Columbus Blvd.) to Penn’s Landing.
I was able to keep pace with Katrina for the first 2 and a half miles. By mile 3 she was only a few yards in front of me. I was playing this game in my head using the different colored bricks along the pavement at Penn’s Landing. The bricks would change color every 50 feet or so. Before she would leave one colored brick pattern I made sure I stepped on it. It was a fun game and it kept her a bit closer to me. Between mile 3-4 she got at least a block and a half ahead of me. I started to worry but not for any reason of safety it was more disappointment. If I can keep pace with her then I know I’m doing well. I decided not to beat myself up over this. I looked at my phone and saw I was running a 10 minute pace and my overall time had us under a 10 minute mile. I relaxed a bit. I got held up at 2 red lights (thank you) and kept in the mile I was in. 3.6. Not too much further to go. My body was ready to shut down but not before I would finish this run. I finished right as my GPS said 4.0 but now that I look at it the total reads 3.9 in 37:34 with an average pace of 9:31. Katrina’s GPS said we did 3.8 and with a bit slower pace. It’s all part of our training and I love it!
So it would appear obvious that taking a few days of from running but keeping up with cardio and strength training, paired with a healthy eating routine paid off and I did not suffer on this 4 mile run. It’s probably what my body needed. I’m also happy to report that my weight is still coming down at a reasonable rate of 1 lb. per week or I’m maintaining. This is expected since I am running quite a bit and watching what I eat but I am still eating things like cheese and enjoying a few craft beers. October will be “Sober October” for the purpose of training, weight loss and speed. I will have plenty of time to celebrate after my Half Marathon at the end of October. And celebrate I will! Next Sunday we have a trail race. I’ve never done one before. It’s 6.55 miles for me but there is a 13/1 option. In the meantime, enjoy the view from my run on Friday!