If you have been reading my blog this week, you know that I've been having lots of 'nagging' little issues with pains in my body. I knew I needed to do something different, and for awhile I was just prepared to quit running & cycling! But, that didn't last long. Instead, I needed to figure out a way to do what I love without getting hurt.
I was researching a race I am interested in running & came across a blog where this lady talks about getting passed by someone who is doing a timed run/walk. Then I read another of her posts where she mentions the same thing and how amazed at how strong this other lady was at the end of the race with her steady run/walk.
Just this morning it hit me.... up until this year (so, for the past 3 years) I have always trained doing a run/walk! This year I thought it'd be great to learn to basically 'run' it all! (Well, stop for water stops when I raced, but try not to really walk.) I was so proud of myself for running 2 miles without walking... then 2.5.... & then 3 followed by another 2! But, I was also running great for the first half of my long runs and then getting slower & slower during the second half. Not only was I needing to walk more & more, but I was also just running slower & slower.
Last week's long run was the worst. We did 6 miles for the first time this year. I was doing GREAT for the first 3 miles or so. My first couple of miles were under 11:30. But, I started walking more & more during those last few miles and my pace dropped significantly. By the end, I think my last mile was a 13:30! Overall I averaged 12:30, but the individual miles were all over the place!
I run with a group on Saturdays for the long runs. And the group runs... they don't do a run/walk. But, there are 3 other runners who have been like me and have to resort to a lot of walking by the end. Today I told the coach (my new duathlon training buddy, too) that I would be doing a run/walk. Not only because of the pace but because of all of my 'injuries'. She suggested I do 10:1 or 8:1. I decided to go with 5:1 which is what I know.
There was a lady who was just starting back after a month off and the coach suggested she run with me. I told the lady my plan and told her she was welcome to join me if she wanted. She did! We actually had a nice time chatting and I enjoyed my planned breaks.
As far as pace, we were so steady! When we were running we were going between 11:20-11:30. And each mile then averaged out to be about 12:20. Very steady! And, I felt GREAT! Unlike the other weeks, I felt good at the end of the run and wasn't ready to fall over!
Of the 3 I have been running with lately, 1 of them wasn't there today. The other 2 took off with the group but I had a feeling I would catch up at some point.
Lady #1 we finally caught up with at about mile 3.5. She was walking and said she was just going to keep walking. I think she just didn't have much more to give today!
Lady #2 we caught up with at about mile 4. She was walking at the time. I told her she was welcome to join us but we were walking in 30 more seconds. She jumped in with us and did great! In fact, she told me she knows she has trouble going off too quickly and then struggling at the end and she asked me to hold her back next time. So maybe she'll join us next time!
Our last walk was scheduled at about mile 4.75 (out of a 5 miler). We decided to just keep running! It felt great to finish strong! I have a tendency to give up at the end of races & often walk even within the last half mile. But, this was great training to know I CAN keep going at the end!
So, I was very pleased with my run and that I might have at least a couple of run/walk buddies in my group! And, I'm happy to be feeling so great after my run... although I did get my blister back from last weekend! Oops!
Bottom line is that we need to take care of our bodies and do whatever works best for ourselves! Happy running! (Or whatever it is that you do!)