Happy Thanksgiving and where did November go?
That's right. I've been too busily running.
Who thought that training for a winter marathon was a good idea?!
Oh, that's right. It was my idea. And I am happy to report that i still think it is a good idea.
1. Treadmill running is a useful training tool. When the weather is frightful, i've been taking easy runs and even workouts to the treadmill once a week. Except for that one week where i ran three times on a treadmill. Yes, that was a stormy week. I am finding it helpful for a mental training perspective, a reminder about proper form (for me proper pawback and glute activation) and I definitely get my sweat on (ie I am trying to maintain some heat tolerance).
2. Solid tempo runs. I struggle with tempo runs in training. I've raced the best when i've been most successful at hitting those critical tempo runs. There's a trick there! It's been hard for me to set tempo paces but since i ran a solid 5k in early september i had a good starting point. I've been doing all my runs solo which is tough but also helps keep me honest. My training partner is a good deal faster than me and when i can't keep up, i makes excuses too easily. It gives me an out that I've been struggling against. The point of the tempo runs is to run them on tired legs and still stay focused. Check!
3. A 5k Turkey Trot Test! K and I signed up for a new turkey trot a couple of months ago. The Mukilteo Turkey Trot is just 30 minutes north of where we live and looked like a nice new event and course. There is also a 10k which drew very fast runners as there were cash prizes. For a first year event, this was well attended (500 in 5k, 160 in 10k) and very well organized. I've truthfully never been to Mukilteo besides driving through to and from the ferry. It was an easy drive there and we found parking easily as we were early as planned. I still only had time for just under a 2 mile warm up and as it was 28 degrees, i was cold and took a while to warm up!
they did a staggered start with "elite" 10k start, followed by an elite 5k start 1 minutes later and then the general gobblers 2 more minutes later. I had lined up far forward but was still by people who were obviously planning on walking. Shrug. I expect to be crowded at the front and I was but that was fine as i did not want to go out too fast. i was hoping to match the 5k that i'd run in September on a flat course with perfect conditions (23:20). However this course had was just a bit rolling and I knew there was a hill in the first mile. I relaxed a bit too much though and came in at 7:39. But at least i was finally warming up. I'd opted for a light long-sleeved shirt, capri skirt, headband and gloves. If i had been overdressed, i'd have taken off my gloves and i never did in this race.
In mile 2, i did start passing people including a woman in my AG who had passed me around the half mile mark. I'd marked her as someone to stay in contact with. It was nice to blow past her! I've been working on checking in on form monitoring as a way to stay focused and honestly I think "glutes" to make sure i am engaging a proper stride. It works for me! Did I mention that last week I hit a mileage high for the year at 57 miles? Yes, my legs were tired, I've not trained any specific 5k work and basically felt out of practice for a 5k effort but this was going better than i thought it would! 7:27
At mile 3 I was in contact with a male high school student. He obviously didn't want me to pass him so always just stayed out of reach even though I knew i was speeding up. He did little glances back too. Haha! It's nice to be that annoying runner sometimes! I did see a sub 7 pace on my watch at first on this mile. Honestly, that scared me. I just stayed focused and reminding myself that i'd worked hard to be here and only needed to run just another 8 minutes or so and i'd be done! I turned the last corner and saw my watch say 21 minutes. I really wanted to be closer to 23 flat so just put my head down to finish. 7:10!
I jogged back out onto the course to cool down and cheer K coming in (he had a very good run and that showed!) and after a mile stopped by the car to grab our layers as it was still not even above freezing. Turns out, I'd placed in my AG and to my delight, i won a pie! woohoo! I was so focused on the pie (typical) that i'd not really looked at my time closely. I thought i ran 23:38 and was satisfied with that. Once we got home, I realized I'd run under 23 minutes at 22;38! woohoo! I've not been under 23 minutes in a couple years and that was with specific 5k training and well rested legs.
I'd do this one again. It was a really nice course with just enough minor rolling to keep you focused and excellent closed streets. There is a hair pin turn at about mile 2. And who doesn't love pie!?
And a 22:38 5k right in the middle of marathon training shows me that I'm right on track for marathon training. I'm excited.