Sunday, November 10, 2013

Progressing As a Runner

I know a lot of men and women who fall into the comparison trap -- myself included, it's easy to fall into it. I'm kind of in a running rut lately and have been getting discouraged and down on myself. That being said, I want to take some time to celebrate my accomplishments and the progress I've made as a runner since my first half marathon in February. I also want to celebrate all of my reader's accomplishments as well, so you can just scroll right down to the questions if you don't want to read about me ;)

Obvi, I'm as sexy as this woman

I ran the Princess Half Marathon in February. I had a blast, but I ran it at a pace that was a minute and a half slower than what I had trained at. I understand that some of that came from stopping to take pictures, but I was still slightly disappointed in myself. I had so much fun at the half, though, that I decided I wanted to better myself as a runner.

I didn't start attempting to really better myself as a runner until May. That was when I decided to start doing more weight training to avoid injury and also started to incorporate speed work into my training plan. The progress was slow on both accords -- I felt like I was never going to be able to increase the weight I used in my strength class and I felt like I was actually slowing down while I was doing my training plan for the Tower of Terror 10-Miler. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty discouraged when it came time to run my first 5k in the heat of a Florida September morning.

That being said, I didn't expect to place 4th in my age group for females on my first 5k. I was ecstatic and felt like I had achieved the unthinkable. I made a lot of progress during the heat of summer, even though I felt like I was running in molasses every morning. The fact that I did well (in my opinion) in the 5k got me psyched up to see how I would do at Tower of Terror.

I finished Tower of Terror roughly 15 minutes sooner than I was expecting. I was hoping to finish in less than 2 hours, including stopping to take photos. Instead, I finished in 1:42.25, running an average pace of 10:15 per mile (including photo stops). That is 1:15 faster than my average pace was for the Princess Half. My Garmin said that I covered 10.1 miles at an average pace of 9:45, but that was not taking into account my stops for photos. That Garmin pace was also the fastest average I've had for runs 6 miles or longer, so it was an incredibly exciting moment for me.

It's Fall in the morning here in FL now, so my paces are quickly dropping and I'm feeling happy that I'm finally getting "faster" again. On Monday, I ran 6 miles at a 9:32 min/mile, which I am happy with. I am excited to see where I end up for the Princess Half this year. **This post was drafted last week. I have now realized that I have progressive enough in my running to realize when my body needs a break. I took 5 days off because my legs were in pain, and this week I feel back to normal**

Life is all about growth, and I'm happy with where I am headed, as a woman and as a runner!

Now tell me: What progress have you made over the last year? Any progress! I want to hear it all :D