Tuesday, February 3, 2015

January Check In

Last night I was reflecting on this past month of running in my new Believe Training Journal. I like that at the end of each month it prompts you to reflect back on the past couple of weeks so you can assess what worked and what didn't. Overall January was a fantastic month of training, but not without some hiccups. Here's the rundown for January:

The Good:
  • I logged my highest monthly mileage ever at 110 miles for the month. I've come close to 100 miles in a month a few times before but never passed this particular milestone. I credit running consistently 5 days a week and upping my mid-week miles. 
  • A new 5k PR!! I started the month with the Commitment Day 5k. Going into the race I wasn't really sure what I wanted to achieve, whether I wanted to race it or just take it easy. My training plan that day called for a negative split 5 miles so I decided to have a 2 mile warm up and see what my legs felt like doing for the race. I sped out the first mile at 9:16/mile and knew I really couldn't maintain that pace for the whole race. I was hoping for a 9:45 overall average so I tried to calm myself down in the second mile.The second mile clocked in at 9:58 and I was getting tired. I wanted to give it all I had for the last mile but the path was covered in black ice and we all had to walk a few portions. Since my number one goal is my half in March I wasn't about to risk injury. The last mile read 10:10. My official time was 30:37 (9:52 avg pace). So close to sub-30! It made me excited to try a few more 5k's after my goal race in March!

  • Nailing workouts that looked scary on paper. 
    • This training cycle is the first time I have tried tempo runs and I love them. Over the past couple of weeks the tempo miles have been increasing and instead of being intimidated, I find myself looking forward to them.
    • Long runs with a few race pace miles in the middle are also new to me and I was able to do them just fine.
    • My favorite run of the month was a negative split 6 miler. The plan called for a 2,2,2 run meaning that my pace should drop every two miles. During the week I usually run on the treadmill since I have to go very early in the morning. This particular morning I decided to drive out to the trail and try pacing on my own instead of relying on the treadmill. My plan was a relaxed first 2 miles, then my "B goal" half marathon pace (10:45) and then my "A goal" pace (10:30), By the time I got to mile 5 I was feeling so good I decided to give a little extra in the last 2 miles. I think I did pretty good.

The Not-So-Good
  • Perhaps related to my jump in mileage this month I have developed a tightness on my left leg, particularly in my calf. Because my huge injury last year was on my left side this gave me cause for concern. Then last week when I started feeling some old familiar pains in my SI joint I knew it was time to step back a little. I actually skipped my last long run of the month and took a couple days off. That seems to have helped a lot because everything is feeling much better.

Things To Work On:
  • My main goal for the coming month is to listen to my body and don't be afraid to take a step back if necessary. Taking a few preventative days off is way better than being forced to take 5 months off again.
  • Consistent core and hip strengthening. I have been doing this a couple of times a week, but I really feel that I need to incorporate a few hip strengthening exercises each day in addition to what I am already doing. I just ordered some resistance bands to help me out.
  • Get enough sleep!
  • Be mindful of what I am eating. I am slacking off a little and I need to get back on track.

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