|My ice-covered windshield...|
Between the hilly course and the fact that I was still getting over a cold, I went into this race expecting to just take it easy and enjoy the gorgeous fall trees surrounding the course, but I didn't do half bad. I crossed the finish line in 33:06, my slowest 5K this year, but not so bad all things considered. By the end I was exhausted, though!
After my summer of injury debacles, it feels wonderful to race 5Ks this fall. When I was crying hysterically convinced I had another tibial stress fracture back in July, I could care less about distance running. All I wanted to be able to do was just plain run again, and a 5K distance sounded so good. I have to say, I am loving me some 5Ks right now! That being said, the longing for distance running is definitely still at the back of my mind! My eyes are set on the Kentucky Derby 1/2 Marathon at the end of April, and I am determined to learn from my training mistakes and do the right thing for my body this time around. After my talks with my PT this summer and my reflections on my past training, I now understand how important cross training, step-back weeks, and SLOW mileage increases are for me.
So, last month I created a training plan that should take me through fall and winter all the way to the spring half-marathon and beyond. Instead of following a 12-week half marathon training plan that increases 1-2 miles a week, this plan focuses on building a solid mileage base this fall that includes 2 short (3 mile) runs during the week and 1 longer run on weekends. The long run will gradually increase up to about 5 or 6 miles, and then stays there for a few weeks. This winter I'll start half-training (the LONGEST TRAINING PROGRAM EVER! because I am just that cool...), and instead of upping the long run a mile every week, my new plan is to up it 1/2 mile 2 weeks in a row, then step back to an easy 3 mile run on the third week. All of these ideas are based on what I worked on and talked about with my PT this summer, and what we figured out my body needs to stay strong and uninjured. I'm also trying to keep up the cross-training weights, and yoga that helped me heal this summer and will help me keep from getting injured again!
10 miler in July after which my body basically fell apart and beged for mercy!!! I know I've put a lot more thought into this plan to "train smarter" this year, and I hope I am able to stick to it!
What races are you looking forward to?
What mistakes have you made and learned from since you started running?
I've always tried to follow all of the injury prevention rules (like increasing mileage only 10% a week), but the biggest thing I've learned is that those rules maybe aren't conservative enough for my body. I've also learned that cross training and weights actually ARE important to become a better runner! I definitely learned that one the hard way...
Read more of my race recaps here!