Around the Crown 10K was a big fucking reality check for me. I wanted so badly to finish well. And I truly thought that I had been training better for this race than previously. I started reading into why I couldn’t improve as a runner and really diving into my workouts. I can honestly say now by looking at this I am NOT giving 100% like I thought I was.
I resumed this blog on July 1st with the intention of logging all my workouts and seeing progress that would ultimately lead to a PR – with my first goal race being the Around the Crown 10K. My new workout plan included things that I had never done before, including early morning workouts, more consistent group runs, and adding in strength training and cross-training. I even bumped up my hikes to trail runs with the goal of increasing intensity.
After failing miserably at the ATC10K, I used every google search I could think of to justify the disaster. Across the board, every single site said “consistency of runs” and “long runs” were ultimately the key to success. Speed workouts and hill workouts and tempo runs – yes, they improve your performance as well, but the down-and-dirty of it was being consistent and dedicating time to at least one long run per week.
As I review my workout calendar, here is what I found:
July 1-7: I started off really well, running 5 times for a total of 11.24 miles (two of the runs were 12:00 treadmill trials and only amounted to 1 mile each – they were more of a baseline test than anything else). I biked for about 15 miles as cross training. I also did a race that week (July 3rd) and was proud of the result (38:45 5k – in 100 degree heat). I took 2 days off.
July 8-14: Still doing fairly well this week, running 3 times for a total of 8.9 miles – again, one of these was a 12:00 treadmill trial. I hiked for about 5 miles as well, though not really a “run”, I still got miles under my feet on some hilly terrain. I biked for a little over 18 miles. This week, I still only took 2 days off for rest.
July 15-21: Slipping a little this week, but still did 3 runs for a total of 7.26 miles (one being the treadmill trial). I hiked 3.1 miles and biked 5. So as you can see, every aspect came down a notch. I took 3 days off completely – I’d like to consider this a recovery week, but still wish now (looking back) that I had fit in just one more workout.
July 22-28: No days off this week! But still, my run miles aren’t to goal – running 3 days, 8.65 miles. None of these were the treadmill trials; they were all approximately 3 mile runs (the shortest run being a trail run). I biked 25 miles, walked 6, and took a turn on the elliptical for 2. All in all, not a bad week, especially for variety of workouts and doing really well with consistency.
July 29-Aug 4: Ended July/Started August off fairly well. One day off this week (Wednesdays). Ran 5 days, 14.63 miles. One day was just one mile on a treadmill; also did a 2.6 miles trail run. My long run was 5 miles which I did with the run group – in this run, I went out really well the first 2.5 and then truly crashed. Walked much of the way back (Riverwalk). But I told myself – its humid, you went out too fast, etc etc. Learned a lesson and still was proud of the effort. No biking this week, and only a treadmill mile and elliptical for cross training.
August 5-11: This is the week it started falling apart, now that I look back. I took three days off (skipped runs). The runs I did were short (a 2 mile and a 3 mile). I did do a long run at the beach for 5.75 – my goal was to have done 6; I also walked a considerable amount of this run. So though my total run miles don’t look so bad (11 out of 12 assigned), they were super low in intensity. The only cross training was a 12 mile bike ride. I could use the excuse that this was a vacation week, but in reality, we were only at the beach Friday through Monday. I could have done better in the week leading up to the trip.
August 12-18: This week can only be described using the word “Failure”. One 5.5 mile run (and even then, it was broken up by a stop back at the Y and several walk breaks toward the end). One 12 mile bike ride. That’s it. Even my steps per day are pretty worthless (1-2 miles total each day).
August 19-25: Tried to bounce back, but only gave this about 50% effort. Three runs at approximately 3 miles each. One was a trail run – which I will say was one of the most fun runs I have ever had…..I laughed and jumped roots. But there was no long run this week. Only one 8.5 mile bike ride.
Aug 26-Sept 1: Some might have called this a taper week, but truly even for a taper week it was pretty pathetic. Only one day of running (Tuesday) and used the elliptical twice. A total of 4 miles leading up to the race when I should have gotten 10. Since September 1 (race day) is technically included in this day, RunCoach says I met my goal of 10 miles (this is assuming that the training is for the Half in November). But for the purposes of getting ready for ATC, it was a bust.
What I didn’t include above was strength training that I have added, mostly upper body weights. But even with that, I am not sticking to that plan to make comprehensive workouts to improve both upper body and core. And I’d like to be better about strengthening the legs and glutes to help with some of the issues I am having with my hip and knee. Yesterday, while doing weights, I tried to focus on staying engaged, because I feel like most of my workouts are unfocused.
So here I am again, starting over. I did express to a couple of people that I need to just quit running – that it wasn’t for me. But as I review all of this, I know I haven’t done all that I can yet. I know that I haven’t given it my all.