Sunday, August 4, 2013

Life After 26.2: The Inability to PR

It has been exactly 10 weeks since the Buffalo Marathon and I am finally getting the desire to run back. I did not do a whole lot of running in the first few weeks following the marathon and there were many different reasons for that. With the end of the school year, my brother’s wedding and giving my body a break after the marathon, running quickly moved to the bottom of my priority list. The marathon definitely took its toll on my body and running was a bit challenging physically after that. Running was a struggle for me from the end of May until the end of June so I decided to take a few weeks off from running. After my brother’s wedding and a couple weeks of traveling, I was finally over my runner burnout and ready to begin running again. When I began running again, it was still a bit of a struggle physically and that was very frustrating. After a couple of weeks of running regularly again, my body finally began to bounce back from the marathon and running began to feel good again.

One thing that helped me bounce back from the marathon was beginning to do some more cross training. From November to May, my entire focus was on training for the marathon and running was the only exercise that I was doing. My pace for running is still pretty inconsistent right now, but the cross training has definitely helped my running. Jason and I have made hiking a weekly thing this summer and 3 hour hikes are definitely a great workout. I have also started biking a couple days a week too and that is also a great workout. I really wanted to get into biking because I am considering completing a duathlon next year. I am not a very good swimmer so a duathlon would be perfect for me. I know that I will definitely do at least a couple of half marathons again next year, but I am not so sure about another marathon. If I do not do another marathon, then I will definitely have the time to devote to training for a duathlon. That is definitely on my bucket list and I am already thinking about my big workout goal for 2014.

For the remainder of 2013, I plan to take it easy on the running. I will still enter shorter road races and continue running regularly. I have no intention of doing any longer races again until late next winter or next spring. I want to spend some time just running for fun again and enjoying running some shorter races. I have run two 5K’s in the past month and I was a little disappointed after I finished each of them. My speed for shorter distances definitely improved quite a bit after training for the Buffalo Marathon so I expected to PR in both of these races. I technically did PR at the Corporate Challenge, but the course was not exactly 3.1 miles. The Corporate Challenge was a huge struggle for me and I just could not push myself to go any faster. I was the last one to finish from our team even though I tried to keep up with everyone. I was pretty disappointed after that, but you cannot expect to PR every time that you race. I also started running again the week of the Corporate Challenge so it was no surprise that the race was difficult for me. 

I spent the weeks following the Corporate Challenge just trying to get back into a regular running routine. Running has definitely gotten easier again over the past few weeks, but I have still been pretty inconsistent. Some days running is really easy and I have a pretty good pace. Some days running is a struggle and I am pretty slow. Despite my inconsistency, I have gotten the desire to begin racing again. Since I am ready to do some shorter races, I have been making sure that I run 3.1 miles at least once a week. I ran 3.1 miles 1 ½ minutes quicker than my 5K PR this past week. I was so happy that I had such a good run that I decided to enter a 5K this past weekend. I thought for sure that I would get a PR at the Taste of Lancaster 5K, but that did not happen. I had a really great first mile and I had set into a pretty comfortable pace. It was pretty hot out that morning and I definitely slowed down during the other 2 miles. I was disappointed when I saw that I was not going to get a PR, but I was less than a minute away from my best time. I should have been able to get a PR because I had just proved that I could do it a few days before. I am not sure why the last two races were so difficult for me and why I now have the inability to PR during a race. I think that I need to get a couple more races under my belt and a few more weeks of running before I am satisfied with where I am as a runner again. I am definitely on the right track now and I am very happy to finally be bouncing back from this marathon.

For those who were wondering, here are my running statistics since the marathon:

May 2013
5/30/13 – 2 miles in 20:11 (10:06 min/mi pace)

June 2013
6/3/13 – 4.25 miles in 39:20 (9:15 min/mi pace)

6/9/13 – 2 miles in 18:56 (9:28 min/mi pace)
6/11/13 – 4.5 miles in 39:44 (8:49 min/mi pace)

6/19/13 – 7 miles in 1:12:14 (10:19 min/mi pace)
6/20/13 – 1 mile in 7:56 (7:56 min/mi pace)
6/20/13 – 1 mile in 7:34 (7:34 min/mi pace)
6/20/13 – 1 mile in 7:40 (7:40 min/mi pace)

July 2013
7/8/13 -5K in 28:29 (9:11 min/mi pace)
7/10/13 – 5K in 31:29 (10:09 min/mi pace)
7/11/13 – Corporate Challenge 5K in 28:17 (9:06 min/mi pace)

7/14/13 – 4 miles in 43:43 (10:56 min/mi pace)
7/16/13 – 1 mile in 8:16 (8:16 min/mi pace)
7/16/13 – 2 miles in 17:40 (8:50 min/mi pace)
7/17/13 – 5K in 29:27 (9:30 min/mi pace)

7/21/13 – 5 miles in 52:44 (10:32 min/mi pace)
7/23/13 – 6 miles in 1:00:42 (10:07 min/mi pace)
7/26/13 – 5K in 29:52 (9:38 min/mi pace)

7/30/13 – 8 miles in 1:21:19 (10:09 min/mi pace)
7/31/13 – 5K in 26:56 (8:42 min/mi pace)

August 2013
8/3/13 – Taste of Lancaster 5K in 29:08 (9:23 min/mi pace)
8/4/13 – 1 mile in 7:40 (7:40 min/mi pace)
8/4/13 – 1 mile in 7:43 (7:43 min/mi pace)
8/4/13 – 1 mile in 8:34 (8:34 min/mi pace)
8/4/13 – 1 mile in 8:31 (8:31 min/mi pace)

522.05 miles run in 83:51:39 during 2013!