Over the last two months, I lost some confidence in my running abilities due to a number of inhibitors, such as illness, inconsistent blood-glucose levels, stress, and a general lack of fitness due to a shortage of available training time. However, the last few weeks I’ve been able to get some solid workouts in, and the runs I’ve done over the last few days have really brought back my confidence.
On Monday, I ran a quick 3-mile run immediately after a 20-mile bike ride to get my legs used to running right off the bike. I settled into a 6:20/mile pace right off the bat. After the first mile, I felt [surprisingly] comfortable at that pace, so I picked up the speed and managed to hold 6:00/mile for the second mile. At that point, I was a little fatigued, but I wanted to finish strong and hard [in an effort to simulate race conditions], so I upped the pace again and finished the 3rd mile in 5:45. This gave me an 18:04 3-mile, which I was very happy with, especially given that I was still recovering from an 8-mile run earlier in the day, and that I was already fatigued at the start due to the bike ride that I had just done.
On Wednesday, I did a 5-mile run on the flat roads in my neighborhood. I felt painfully slow, but after the first mile I was warmed up and decided to pick up the speed, and ended up finishing the run in 33:05 [6:29/mile]. I was very satisfied with this workout as well. I’m not used to holding these paces for more than three miles, so this definitely gave me some more confidence for the three 10km road races I’ll be doing in the next month.
On Thursday, [tonight] I put in a nice and quick 9.17-mile run in 1:02:28 [6:49/mile]. I was very impressed with myself that I was able to hold that pace over this distance. I’m training for the HITS Half-Ironman in early december, which closes with a half-marathon [13.1 mile run], so workouts like these really give me a great perspective and help build confidence that I need to continue training. A very surprising result of this run was the total elevation gain: 662ft. Unfortunately, none of my upcoming races are on very hilly courses, but this means that I may have been able to hold closer to a 6:40/mile pace on a flat course.
These three workouts were huge morale boosters, and were just what I needed to get back into a serious training mindset. It has been truly rewarding watching myself improve.