I ran 77 miles this March. I ran a PR- Leprechaun Dash 10K (54:03- last year ran 10 K in Hawaii at 55:10- good improvement). My farthest run was 8 miles. The biggest thing- running- this month was that I started my Another Mother Runner 1/2 marathon "Own It" plan. I have followed Hal Higdon's Marathon plan and 1/2 marathon plan for every race I've ever run. So it has been different. Not different bad or good, just different. I'm doing more speed work and intervals. They increase your mileage pretty quickly with the "Own It" plan. They also have a "Finish It" plan, but that one I didn't think would challenge me enough so I went "all out".
I thought the interval/speed work would be totally intimidating, let alone the mathematical part of it. For example- this is one of my workouts: Run 5 miles as 1 mile WU, 1,2,3, 4, 3,2,1, at Z 5 with .25 mile recovery, and 1 mile CD. O.K. that looked so foreign to me and how was I going to keep track what interval I was at and what did it all mean. (I'm the kind of gal who could never keep track what lap I was on when running multiple around the high school track). So break down in layman's terms: 1 mile warm up (try to keep it at 10 min/mile-11 min/mile pace) then 1 min at 95% (that's what Z 5 means- zone 5), with .25 mile recovery, and then increase to 2 min at Z5 (95% effort) with .25 mile recovery, and 3 minutes...etc with 1 mile cool down (CD) at the end. I know for those of us that just go out and pound the pavement even writing this description seems overwhelming and confusing, but... it has worked. I feel faster- I'm getting either more miles done/week or running the miles faster/week.
This plan also fits in Fun Workouts (pretty much any other physical activity that raises your heart rate up a little- leisurely bike ride, playing b-ball with kids, Wii Just Dance, etc). My fun workout this week was "hiking" WoodPecker trail after school pick up today. This plan also has cross training days: which has allowed me or forced me into spinning, or yoga at least one day/week. Still don't understand why I have such a hard time making cross training a priority- I really enjoy both spinning and yoga when I'm doing it.
So the good: I'm getting faster and stronger. The bad: I feel like I'm become a "clock watcher". I guess you can't have it both ways- unless you are uber rich and can have someone run with you and just yell at you when you should increase and he/she could watch their watch and then tell you when to decrease speed, etc. So for now I will become a "clock watcher" and keep you posted on this more elaborate training plan.
Goals for April- follow the plan (no skipping assigned workouts or decreasing the amount of miles/workout - you know the old "Oh, I'll cut this one short and just do 4 instead of 5 today"). No excuses, no whining, just get her done! Happy April Running!