Week 1 of the 2016 Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon got off to a really good start! My finish times weren’t as good as I want them to be by November. However, I finished all 3 runs that were on the calendar. So, it was a good start.
One week ago, I upped my mid-week training game by adding a mile. Jeff Galloway’s plan calls for runs of 45 minutes for the mid-week. Since I’m usually between 47 and 51 minutes over 4 miles, going for 4 miles is close enough. I was tired heading into the run (what’s new?). So, since this was week one, I decided to take to run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds the entire way. Plus, I knew that this was my first time running the 4 mile route in a while. So, it would be good to start off slow.
On this route, mile 1 is the hardest mile elevation wise. It’s either uphill or flat the entire way. Let’s just say that this route isn’t the ideal way to begin a run. However, in the past, I’ve worked my way to decent first miles. On Tuesday (last week), I was kind of slow. I finished the mile in 12:25. It could have gone worse. However, I know I am capable of better. Miles 2 and 3 were much better. The elevation changes and is largely downhill or flat. On this route, mile 2 feels like a reward for pushing through mile 1. I also love mile 2 because I get to run through Old Town Pasadena. So much fun. I finished mile 2 in 12:11 (fastest mile of the day)!
I could feel the tiredness starting to set in during mile 3 and it showed by my time. I was able to finish all of my run intervals. However, I was going slower. I finished mile 3 in 12:22. Mile 4 began with me almost a minute off the 12 minute per mile pace. So, there was no need to press in mile 4. The last mile was also my slowest at 13 minutes even. Overall, I finished in 50:02. I was kind of bummed. During parts of the last mile, I thought I’d finish in under 50 minutes. So, to finish a few seconds over, slightly bummed me out. It was my first run of this cycle and I know I need to get better.
On Thursday, I did improve! Each and every mile split was faster than Tuesday’s splits! I kept the same intervals because I wanted week one to serve as a baseline for the rest of the training cycle. Right from mile 1, not only was I running faster, but I felt stronger about it! I was still over 12 minutes. However, I was closer to 12 minutes than Tuesday. My final time was 12:17….7 seconds faster than Tuesday!
Even though I knew I was faster, I couldn’t remember by how much. I felt stronger heading into mile 2. So, off I went….run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds. During mile 2, I thought about how I want to progress on this route. I will need to work myself into a run 45, walk 45 kind of intervals if I want to set a new half marathon PR. Thankfully, this is only week 1. I finished mile 2 in 12:08….3 seconds faster than Tuesday!
Mile 3 just continued the good vibes. I was running stronger and feeling better! I kept my pace light. I did’t press. The result??? My fastest mile of the week! I finished mile 3 in 11:59! That was not only my fastest mile of the week, but 23 seconds faster than Thursday! My overall time was 36:24…24 seconds over the 12 minute per mile pace.
As I started mile 4, I wondered how much time I would concede. Mile 4 has been rough for me on this route. I was dreaming of a sub 39 minute, 4 mile run at this point. It looked like I could hit that until the last quarter-mile. By the time I got to 3.75 miles, I knew I wouldn’t be under 39 minutes. But how would I finish? Mile 4 was finished in 12:49…11 seconds faster than Tuesday! My overall time was 49:14…47 seconds faster than Tuesday! Mission Accomplished!
Saturday was kind of a trap day. On weeks like this, in the past, I’ve missed these shorter weekend runs. I almost didn’t get out and run. After all, it was going to be a hot day. Given Colton’s decision to get up 3 times in middle of the night for feedings, I was really tired. Plus, the night before, I didn’t get home until after 11:30. So, the pillow was feeling awfully nice. It took me too long to decide to get out of bed to avoid the heat entirely. But, I did get out.
When I started the run, I was contemplating going with a 30 second run interval, 90 second walk break for only the first half-mile. Then, switch to a 60 second walk break for the second half of mile 1. However, I wasn’t feeling it. My legs felt heavy and I wasn’t running great. I finished the first mile in 12:07. Lately, I have been faster. But, I’ve also been slower on this 3 mile route.
Mile 2 was my undoing. I made a mistake in mile 2. As I crossed one intersection, I had someone ask me for the nearest Starbucks. Now, giving an answer doesn’t take too much time. However, it was time I wasn’t moving. I should have stopped my timer, answered the question, and then re-started the timer to move along. By keeping the timer going, I put myself in a place to get a slower time. When you’re only running 3 miles, there isn’t enough distance to make up the time I gave up. So, by the end of mile 2, I was sitting at 24:41. This is the slowest 2 miles on this route I’ve finished in some time. However, 30 – 60 seconds of that was giving directions. Oh well.
I moved into mile 3, deciding to keep the 90 second walk breaks. The reason was two-fold. First, I was already 41 seconds off the 12 minute per mile pace I desired and realized that I probably wouldn’t make up all 41 seconds with the switch. Secondly, mile 3 was in a lot of sun and it was getting pretty warm. Add to that, I was in week 1 of Avengers training. So, I merely let the 90 seconds walk breaks continue and choose to consider it a victory because I made all 3 training runs like planned. I finished mile 3 in 12:19 to give me an overall time of 37:00. Far from my best. But, I did finish all 3 runs as scheduled!
Not only did I make all my training runs, but Colton came to the office for his first visit on Thursday! He loved daddy’s desk!
Week 1 of the 2016 Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon training is now in the books! Bring on week 2!