posted by catie
We started a new ‘Brain Training for Runners’ training plan!
And, it’s really damn hard. Like…want to die hard.
Technically, we’ve started it 4 times now since the end of August, but those first couple of tries don’t really count, right?
Before we get into the details of that though, there’s a bit of a back story to tell. So sit tight.
Back in August, we took a really awesome vacation (an anti-honeymoon, if you will) to Mexico. We were gone for about a week and we didn’t run a single day. Not at all. No real shoes were put on the whole week. We had a great time and got back in town just in time for our next target race: the Kimmswick 5K. We didn’t have high hopes for that race because of the whole vacation and not running and eating all of the food, but it actually turned out awesome! We PR’d by almost 3 minutes and are now this *holds up thumb and pointer finger* close to breaking 30.
‘But, Catie, what the heck does ‘Breaking 30’ mean???’
Well, friends, ‘breaking 30’ means you run that 5K distance (3.1 miles) in under 30 minutes. That means sub-10 minute miles. Which, if I’m being totally honest, would be such a dramatic improvement in performance for Christie and I that it’s kind of hard to even describe. Okay maybe not that hard to describe (I was trying to inject some theatrics into the situation [watch out, Andrew]), but we finished our first 5K in 43 minutes and 4 seconds. That would be an over 13-minute improvement on a fairly short race and something that people actually have to work hard to achieve.
That’s where we’re headed now. And, if Christie’s high school cross-country coach instilled anything into her head over their time together, it was ‘If you want to run fast, you have to run fast.’ Sounds kind of stupid, huh? But, it’s actually a fairly common misstep that lots of runners make. You think that if you train enough you’ll be able to see those faster times at races but, unless you’re actually training at that pace, you won’t get there.
And, let me tell you…it’s TOUGH, you guys.
Remember that post that I wrote this summer about running? About how I was just waiting to get to the point in my running that I just would go out for a quick 5-mile run, like it was nothing? Oh, how naïve and simple I was.
Now, we’re running 6 days a week (up from 4) and EVERY RUN is at least 5 miles with the longest run in the training plan being 10 miles. We run at least 30 miles a week and we actually have to pay attention to our paces (thanks Garmin watches). We restarted for *hopefully* the last time on November 1st and we’re finally kind of getting it after 3 false-starts.
So far we’re feeling pretty tired, but actually really confident and strong. This plan is tough mentally and physically, but I think we’re getting into it now. The runs are starting to feel easier and I really look forward to the time spent, just the two of us, every day. Even if sometimes the struggle is so real that I can’t talk or don’t remember what happened for the hour we were out there.
Hopefully in February (our next target race) we’ll be able to write a post about how we ‘broke 30’ and how good it felt and how happy and proud we are. Stay tuned!