I just looked at my Nike+ app to see how many kilometers I’ve logged this month.
It’s a little bit less than the previous few months which have averaged between 60-70 km. I did manage two 10k runs this month which I’m pretty happy about, and I’ve even shaved off about 4 minutes since my first effort back in July. My current PB for 10km is 1:11:16.
I briefly flirted with the idea of increasing my distance to 15k but wisely reconsidered after some discussion with my Facebook running group. The 10k distance is still pretty new and I think I should focus on making it easier to run before increasing the distance.
I’d also like to break into the 6 min/km range. Back in August, I started incorporating hill repeats into my runs. I’ve read that hill repeats and can help make your pace faster. I probably did too many too soon without enough rest periods in between because my shins started bothering me. So much so that I ended up convincing myself that I needed a new pair of shoes. I had logged about 300km on my Asics, so this seemed like a reasonable thought. But interestingly enough, the shin problem settled down when I stopped running the hills. Or maybe it was the new shoes? Hmm …
The thing is – I like the hills. They are a royal bitch but I like the workout I get. I like the sense of accomplishment when I concur the repeat; I like feeling that burn in my quads and the pounding of my heart like it’s about to leap out of my chest. It’s the best kind of workout after a rough day at the office. It’s punishing. It’s invigorating. It’s hard. It cleanses the soul.
As for my pacing, I think the month of hills actually did help. My average pace in August was 7:39 min/km; in September it was 7:35 and now in October it’s 7:20. Slowly but surely, I am making progress.
So the next time I take on a hill, I say, “bring it on, bitch!”
A few days ago I decided to give myself another challenge.
I am going to run 10km before going back to work on April 1.
In the past week, I have suddenly found this amazing groove where I can run non-stop for close to 40 minutes. I don’t know where it came from but I am loving it. My cardiovascular endurance has improved so much in the past two years, even with the pregnancy. To think I could barely run a minute or two before getting completely winded. Now, the only thing that hurts when I run for 30+ minutes are my legs, not my lungs.
So, when I ran that 5km non-stop last week it gave me the desire to run more, to run longer. I consulted with some of my friends and acquaintances who run and they directed me to a few websites where I could pick up some tips on training for 10 km.
Most of my friends run races and have always asked me to sign up. I just don’t have that desire to run a race. I don’t need that kind of specific endpoint for my running. I have the drive and determination to run because I like the way it makes me feel and I like the changes it makes to my body. I just don’t need to accumulate race medals. What I do need is an outlet to exorcise my demons and my stresses. And that is what running does for me.
So, my official unofficial non-race related 10km training program begins.
Wednesdays I designated as hill training, but today Mother Nature had other plans and dumped about 20 cm (~6 inches) of snow. It’s been snowing for almost 12 hours non-stop. I spent the morning deciding if I was going to run. I decided I had to, because if I can run in snow, I can run in anything.
It wasn’t a long run, only 2 km, but I “ran” straight for 20 minutes. I say, “ran”, because it wasn’t really running, what I was doing. It was more like a knee-high workout. By the end my calves and ankles were screaming in pain and my quadriceps were quivering.
And for most of the run, I couldn’t see my shoes.
I seriously hope this counted for hill training.