Of a Sub-2:00 Half Marathon Pace and Mental Toughness
This sunny Saturday afternoon I made my way to Central Park for my scheduled 9 miler. My legs are pretty dead after my speedy 5 miles on Wednesday followed by two consecutive nights of Insanity workouts, but this provided the perfect opportunity to work on my mental toughness.
When I started running it was easy to give in to the exhaustion and a lot of times, I talked myself out of finishing scheduled mileage because it was “just too hard.” I quickly discovered that with running, as with most things, cutting corners is not the way to get things done. (Ok, it gets things done, but the results aren’t the greatest.)
Eventually, I began to focus on the things I was telling myself while I was training. I began reminding myself that when I was feeling tired, there was still more in the tank, I just had to be willing to work and to use it. I had to tell myself to trust my training. Today was a good time for me to work on all of those things again.
When I finished I took a peek at my Garmin and noted my 9 miles were completed in 1:22:21. My jaw dropped. Further digging on Runners World confirmed that if I can maintain that pace during a half marathon, I will have my sub-2:00 half marathon (breaking my PR by 11 minutes). It’s all just a matter of putting in the work.
Google Hangout: I have been a fan of Skype for a while now, but it wasn’t until recently that I actually used Google Hangout. I love it! I found that I have fewer problems with it when it comes to both image and sound. Yay for seeing friends’ faces and hearing their voices!
Le Pen pens: I have a strange fondness for office supplies and planners… I like to think of these pens as the adult equivalent of Gelly Roll pens. (C’mon ladies, you know what I’m talking about.) All of the same pretty colors in a more adult package and sans sparkles. Something tells me it would be hard to take someone like me seriously if I sat down to schedule experiments, opened my planner and the pages were covered in sparkly pink pen, BUT the chic sage green pen allows me to be fun and still semi-grown up.
My new running shoes: I love these shoes so far. I’ve found that I have IT band trouble, but with these shoes (many thanks to Gazelle Sports in Grand Rapids for helping me find the right fit) I haven’t had a single issue. They’re a little more girly than my previous pair of Asics and I’m ok with that. Girly is just fine when my legs aren’t screaming.
Pandora Radio: This isn’t anything new, but with my purple iPod nano’s departure to the great Apple Store in the Sky, I have resorted to using the Pandora app on my phone for tuneage while running. I’m happy to report my mourning period is over and that I’ve run back to the loving arms of Pandora. I appreciate the mix of songs and artists on each of my stations and I really like that the music is based on my history of “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” votes for each song or artist. It’s also great for at-work listening and for finding new music.
What are some of your favorite things at the moment?
So this morning I failed to wake up to run my 4-5 miles… BUT I promised myself a good ass kicking once work was over.
I strapped on my shoes and hopped on the train to Columbus Circle. Once I got there, I ran. According to my Garmin, my first mile was done in 7:54. (Whoa Nelly!* Pull it back…) I slowed to an 8:20 pace and then realized that that was still a little too fast and then I settled in to a pace around 9:00. Three sweaty laps of the Lower Loop (5.01 miles and 43:58) later, I realized that I had completed one of my best runs to date.
My running has been inconsistent, and I have been, well, there’s really no other word for it, lazy. If I’m going to do as well as I would like to do in my 25k, I really need to buckle down and get serious about my training. A little over 100 days to go until the Fifth Third River Bank Run and I am going to work my ass off to get a PR. (I know, I know… It’s my first 25k, automatically a PR, but I would love to break my half marathon PR time in the process.)
I’ve also upped the ante when it comes to strength training. I’ve added the Insanity workout and while I find myself wanting to switch kick Shaun T. in the balls most of the time, I’m liking the way I feel when it’s done. (Even if it means I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.)
So that’s where I am with my running and everything. A bit of a bummer that I couldn’t get my run in this morning, but it seems like the extra sleep came in handy and I totally redeemed myself with tonight’s run.
While sitting on the floor, drenched in sweat after completing the Plyometric Cardio Circuit from the Insanity Workout and contemplating my timeline for tomorrow morning’s run in Central Park, I heard someone walk up to my door. The footsteps were quickly followed by a piece of paper shooting across my floor. I expected a menu. (Any New Yorker knows what I mean… There were days that I would come home from work to a pile of 4 or 5 delivery menus.)
However, I was pleasantly surprised to find an invitation to join the other tenants for coffee and bagels this Saturday morning in our lobby.
I work in Harlem, so it’s not a new locale for me, but as a resident I’m gaining an interesting perspective. Everyone I have interacted with is so warm. People in my building are friendly and I’ve actually had conversations with them in the elevator. (OMG, conversations you guys…) I’m falling more and more in love with my new little corner of the world, and I’m really hoping to get some more exploring done this weekend. Also, I just discovered that Amateur Night at The Apollo opens its 2012 season on February 1st. Anybody interested in going?
Quiet Sunday Night Reading for Class Brought To You By: Gregory & The Hawk’s Leche
After a few wild weekends, I was thankful to have some time this weekend to sleep in, relax and not have anything planned. Since rediscovering Gregory & The Hawk earlier this week, I haven’t been able to get enough. This album, while old, has been on repeat all weekend and was the perfect addition to my evening spent reading for class.
Today’s 8-9 miles are in jeopardy after yesterday’s spill in Central Park.
While rounding a corner yesterday, I wiped out and landed on my right side. It also happened to be in an embarrassingly crowded spot. With all of the snow, families had come out in droves to sled down a few of the park’s snowy hills. I was lucky enough to bite it in front of one of the more crowded hills. I left Central Park after 2 miles with a tender, bruised hip and a bruised ego. I iced yesterday and felt confident that today’s run, while slower and more cautious, would still happen.
Now, I’m not so sure. I feel very stiff this morning and my bruised thigh has changed from the gray blue of a fresh bruise to an angry-looking purple and black and my hipbone looks a bit red and swollen. (hotttt) So, needless to say, today’s run has been put on hold.
Today’s Climb Out of The Friday Fog Brought To You By: Passion Pit’s Sleepyhead
This song was playing as I got off the train (later than I had intended… grr) to work. I could not pry my eyes open or drag myself out of bed this morning. I finally feel like I’m coming out of it though.
Of your eyes, begonia skies like a sleepyhead
*This album was the soundtrack to my packing and moving out to New York City, so it holds a special spot in my musical heart. I will never skip a Passion Pit song…
Tonight’s Pre-Rivalry Game Run Through Central Park Brought To You By: Swedish House Mafia Pandora Station. (My dear purple iPod nano has gone to iPod heaven… *tear*)
This was the perfect soundtrack to a run through the wet Central Park Lower Loop. I felt good. In the interest of full disclosure: this was my first run since my run in Tampa with Rob. (Yes. Yes. I knowwww… SLACKER = ME) All things considered, it was a great run. My legs felt good, my time was good (averaged 9:03 min/mi for 3.4 miles) and it felt amazing to get outside after a frigid weekend and a long day indoors. Dailymile told me I have 116 days until the Fifth Third River Bank Run (25k). Better get my butt in gear.
In other running-related news, I finally purchased a Road ID. I would like to think that I won’t need it, but it’s a huge comfort to know that if (God forbid) I do need it, it’s there. I got the Shoe ID model. If it’s strapped to my laces, it’s impossible to forget. If you’re a runner or cyclist or outdoor adventurer and you don’t have one yet you should consider getting one! They also let you donate a portion of your purchase to one of a handful of charities. Mine went to Team In Training!
After reading this article about artist Vahram Muratyan, I had to head to his blog. Muratyan grew up in Paris but has spent a considerable amount of time in NYC. His blog showcases a project where he compares various pieces of Parisian life with their New York City counterparts in adorable prints. I am kind of in love with all of this. So colorful and clever and whimsical! I may need some prints for my apartment…
1. The last thing I ate was a clementine! I love this time of year because clementines are in season. Yummmm.
2. The last song I listened to was All of This by The Naked and Famous while getting everything set for a day of experiments.
3. Using the letters in my name I can spell Caitlin : cat, at, can, it, in, nil, lit, tin, lait (French!)
4. If I had to dress in one color for the rest of my life I would pick oh man… I love the color green and could probably wear it every day, though realistically, it would look awfully funny…
5. If you were to look in my bag right now you’d find about 3 tubes of different varieties of chapstick/lip gloss, my planner, my laptop case, my little Fossil wristlet with all manner of identification and other necessary cards, phone charger, MetroCard, earrings, work ID and facility key, sunglasses, a clementine, and mittens.
6. When I finish filling in the blanks I’m going to grab a cup of coffee before diving into more experiments and MatLab!
7. My all time favorite song to dance to is well… If I’m with friends: Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot. If I’m with family: September by Earth, Wind and Fire. If I’m alone: Howlin’ For You by the Black Keys.
Tonight, my friend Kate returns to NYC for the long weekend! We have all sorts of fun things planned, including brunch, museums, and shopping, but one of the plans I’m most excited about is our hot date to see one of our sorority sisters in a play! Tomorrow night we’re going to see Sarah in Three Sheetsat BrainSpunk Theater! One bed. Three stories. Sarah is in Three Pillows.
When Howard goes shopping for a new bed to fit his new non-traditional marriage, little does he know he will encounter Veronica, the born-again Mattress Sales Person.
My Lions didn’t fare so well, and that’s a big bummer, but I’ve been trying to get my stuff together for tomorrow’s key acquisition/beginning to move. (I hate this part, but man am I excited to get into my new place!)
I’ve been trying to/meaning to get to this post for a long time now. I just got back to New York, and since I can’t get the keys to my new place until tomorrow, this seems like an appropriate time to get this done. Please forgive the picture quality… I don’t have an actual camera, so my phone is responsible for the photos I’m including.
My first two weeks at home were filled with meals at my favorite places, a Christmas party, a holiday brewery crawl, Christmas, a Lions playoff berth, losing my voice but acquiring a nasty cough, and lots of catching up with family and friends.
Friday morning before New Year’s Eve, my college roommate and one of the best friends a girl could ask for carted me over to Detroit Metro for my flight to sunny Tampa. (Did I mention it was her birthday on Friday when she did all of this? See? Told you. One of the best.) Tampa was a whirlwind. Flip Flop Friday, a 4 mile run along Bayshore and into downtown Tampa with Rob, a New Year’s Eve filled with dancing, sequins, heels, and drinks with devilishly good-looking and impeccably dressed company, a trip to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, swimming in a pool with a giant frog named Jeremiah, and finally the second Lions v. Packers showdown of the season. (Didn’t end the way I would have liked, but at least someone was pleased with the outcome.)
Up and at ‘em bright and early on Monday morning to hit the road to New Orleans to watch the Wolverines in the Sugar Bowl! An incredible playlist, several sing alongs, a pit stop or two, tense moments following Big Ten bowl games on phones that wouldn’t refresh, 2 dead phones, 655 miles and 10 hours later, we were pulling into New Orleans for football and a mini ADPi reunion! First order of business: have a drink and watch the end of the Rose Bowl. Second order of business: have a shrimp po boy. After step one and two, it was time to hit up Frenchman Street for live music followed by a jaunt down Bourbon Street.
Tuesday morning (GAME DAY!) began with donning our maize and blue, brunch, mimosas, and a lot of bar hopping (including a stop at one of the coolest bars ever - seriously, beer, fire pit, and blankets in the warm NOLA sunshine? yes please!), and some more eating before finally making our way into the Superdome for the main event. The game wasn’t the prettiest, but our seats were incredible, and the outcome was everything I’d hoped for! It’s GREAT to be a Michigan Wolverine! Sugar Bowl Champs! Geaux Blue!
Probably three of the best weeks I’ve ever had. I owe my friends and family many thanks for helping to make it so memorable. I love you all and miss you all already! 2011 was an adventure, but I have a great feeling about 2012…