Posted by: Ingrid | April 12, 2012

Training, T-shirts, and Tempos

I am starting in on week seven of my training plan, a plan I fondly call “The Overacheiver Half Marathon Plan”.  While many plans operate on the assumption that if you can run 10-12 miles you will be able to get out the last 1.1 miles on race day, this plan assumes nothing of the sort.  Running 13.1 miles?  Then you’d better run 16 for your longest run, of course.  But last week’s 16 miler, due to various circumstances beyond my control, turned into a 14 miler.  Adding insult to injury (quite literally) the familiar groin pain kicked in at the end, leaving me to question my running in general.  Sounds pretty typical for getting near the end of a training plan.  Where would we runners be if our training didn’t leave us feeling mentally unprepared and questioning our abilities? 😛

It did give me an idea for a t-shirt though, since the same issue (probably with the muscular attachments keeps flaring up.  I would put something like this on the front:

And underneath the image: I have attachment issues.  Okay, I thought it was funny.  But I digress.

Overall, my training is going pretty well.  I did more 1K repeats the other day and was reminded how difficult it is for me to think in kilometers (born in the wrong country, perhaps?).  There is something psychologically taxing about having to run past half a mile for speedwork.  Plus I am unaccustomed to dealing with meters and kilometers and I always have to google the exact distance I need to program into my Garmin.  I will never forget what a sad workout it was when I was hitting all of my times and then realized I’d entered a kilometer as 0.6 miles.  Rounding to the nearest tenth may be acceptable in chemistry, but not in running!  And that 0.02 makes a difference!

I am excited to see progress though.  I have been most consistent with my speedwork and long runs, so when I compared my 1K splits with the workout from a few weeks ago (which felt really hard) I was quite pleased.  Week 4 called for seven 1K repeats with a 2 minute rest interval in between.  I was aiming for 4:20 each and I did them in:

4:20, 4:17, 4:17, 4:21, 4:20, 4:18, 4:15

Three weeks later I had to do 6 repeats with 1 minute in between.  Except for the first interval, during which my shoe came untied and I had to pause (4:24) I aimed for 4:10 and I hit:

3:58, 4:00, 3:55, 3:53, 3:50

If that’s not substantial progress I don’t know what is!  I am still so new coming back to training that there is a high just seeing the numbers start dropping below a 6:30 pace.  It is such a good feeling!

I have decided that I am aiming for a 7:15 pace for the half (faster than anything I have ever run, so potentially out of my league at the moment) since those are the paces I seem to be hitting in training.  Mentally I don’t know if I have it together to run that fast for that long.  I shot for a 7:10 pace on my 5 mile tempo run today and managed: 7:02, 6:56, 7:13, 7:02, 6:43.  Talk about erratic!  I am just glad that for the moment my body is cooperating.  Hopefully I can get in the half marathon and then a 5K a few weeks later to use as a baseline for future running.

Running song of the week:  Galaxies – Owl City



  1. that is wonderful progress! to hit those times on 1 minute rest is really really solid. i can’t remember what your 5 km PB is (and I know that’s not what you are training for right now) but it sounds like you are in 19:00-19:15 5 km shape! would be great if you could sneak one in before the 1/2 marathon!

    • There is a 5K (flat course!) coming up three weeks after the half. So far my best time is 20:36, the last 5K I ran (hilly course) over a year and a half ago. I am really hoping that I can come in under 20 at the 5K in May. That would be amazing! I don’t know that there is anything nearby before that. Gotta love Michigan. 🙂

  2. I like your shirt. It made me laugh. Your speed work is impressive. Impressive. It is inspiring me to do some. Maybe 🙂

    • Thanks, Greta. You should get out and do some speedwork once your knee is up to par. And don’t do anything crazy that might mess with running the relay!

  3. Those are great 1k times!! I agree with PPC that you should try to find a 5k just to see. Now I gotta ask- what kind of shoes do you run in? More specifically, what is the padding like? I am an old friend to groin pain and it always used to be my limiting factor until I made the gradual transition to very minimalist shoes. It shifts the strain to the knees and feet. Perfect for people with hip and groin problems!

    • I tend to stick with Asics and am using the Gel Pulse 3 right now. I think they are pretty padded. I’ve toyed with the idea of trying a minimalist shoe. I just don’t know what to look for and balk a bit at having to spend money on less shoe. I like the idea though, and if it helped with groin issues that would be wonderful!

  4. Well, remember “less shoe” also costs less, so that’s nice. I was really surprised my shoes have cost ony $60-75. That is not bad for running shoes! I use New Balance 101 minimalist trail shoes. They are awesome!

  5. Helen Lavin uses them, too…

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