The consistency of running contributes to growth, but it can also make growth so surprising when we suddenly realize how much we’ve progressed. When recording this week in my training log, I was genuinely surprised at growth I’ve made in areas of weakness, including speed and strength.
I sometimes doubt my own abilities, and over the past year or so, I’ve worked really hard on removing self-doubt from my running. I used to look at my training log and, despite seeing the pattern of my own workouts think, there’s no way I could run x pace for y distance. That’s the pace that fast people run, not me. While doubt never struck on race day itself, it would sneak in before, tempering my goals.
5K training has been an exercise in growth and removing self-doubt, especially since I’ve considered 5K speed to be an area of weakness for my running. Recently, my workouts have shown paces that I used to think beyond my abilities. If I let self-doubt sneak up, I begin to wonder if my Garmin is broken. Over the past few months, I’ve been working hard to change my mindset with running. I detach myself emotionally from goal finish times or workout paces and I focus on the challenge, the process, and the growth – the parts I enjoy.
This week of training was affirming. I enjoyed my workouts by their own virtue and I was really pleased with the results.
Monday: 7 mile tempo run
I am probably enjoying these Monday morning tempo runs too much. They’re simple to do straight from my front door and the confidence boost powers me through a Monday. After doing the same workout the past couple weeks, I added a slight twist to this tempo run. I began at half marathon effort for the first mile and worked down to 10K effort for the final mile: 7:12, 7:09, 6:54. I was really excited to see a mile starting with a 6:xx on a tempo-effort workout!
Tuesday: 7 mile easy run & Pilates
Charlie spent this week on required rest, due to a soft tissue problem in his mid-back and a double ear infection. Instead of splitting the run up between the dogs, I took Ollie on a 7 mile run. This actually made it even easier for Charlie to rest, since Ollie was tired enough to leave Charlie alone.
In the evening, I did my go-to 17-minute Pilates workout. Nothing too challenging, just a good core and hip strengthening session.
Wednesday: 6 x 1/2 mile at 5K pace (7 miles)
This workout genuinely surprised me. My legs did not feel super fresh upon waking and I briefly considered moving the workout to another day. Oh, and it was cold and raining. I took this workout one interval at a time, lapping around a half-mile loop which made the intervals mentally manageable. My first interval clocked in at 3:15 – a 6:30/mile pace – and felt comfortable. My initial thought was “I can’t sustain that for the rest of the workout” but I suppressed that thought and just focused on one interval at a time, alternating directions around the loop. Each of the remaining intervals clocked in at 3:16-3:19 (6:32-6:38/mile).
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: 8 mile run
The weather was beautiful on Friday morning – sunny and in the 50s. Ollie and I enjoyed an 8 mile run along one of our favorite trails. I felt good and could have done a few extra miles, but I didn’t want to push Ollie too hard. We stopped a couple times at water bowls left out by local businesses (thank you to those who do this!) so that Ollie could stay hydrated with the sun beating down on his black coat.
Saturday: 3 miles on the trail & strength training
Ryan and I met up with a friend for a trail run at a local state park. We climbed 510 feet of elevation gain within those three miles, with about 400 feet within just a 1/2 mile stretch in the middle.
After our run, Ryan and I went to the gym for a short lifting session. I did kettlebell swings, barbell squats, barbell deadlifts, TRX rows, and hanging leg raises. I was super proud of my weight on the deadlifts – 95 lb for 3 sets of 8, which may not seem like a lot, but it’s progress for me.
Sunday: 4 mile hike
After calling parents for Father’s Day, Ryan and I headed out on a hike. The dogs stayed out home because of Charlie’s required rest. We hiked at Fragrance Lake up North along the Puget Sound. The hike was short and moderate, but if felt good to get out in the wilderness.
Where have you noticed growth recently?
Do you struggle with doubt in your training?