Marathon Breakthrough

20 Feb

I had a breakthrough today in my marathon training. Last week was a breakthrough for distance. I completed 7.18 miles, which I had never done before. But, my pace was lousy. I was running at a 14:03 mile, which wouldn’t allow me to complete the Denver Marathon in the required 6 hours. To finish on time, I need to run at a minimum pace of 13:30.

Today, I was absolutely unmotivated to go running. I had a bad weekend with a migraine, and felt icky and hungover from the medications I take for them. I almost didn’t go today, but then decided I really needed to. I was supposed to do 5 – 7 miles, but I was just going to go with it today and do something.

I decided to try a new trail out for a change of scenery. I went to Cottonwood Creek Park, which is a really pretty park in a neighborhood with great views of the mountains and tons of doggie play areas. I’m a sucker for animals, so I really loved watching the dogs play! The trail is a 3.25 mile trail that runs through the city, but I stuck with just a 0.5 mile loop that circled the park instead. It was about half uphill and the other half was a mixture between level ground and a few downhill spots.

I really pushed hard today. It was challenging, because the winds were really strong today making it cold and hard to stay on the road. But I kept pushing. I still did my 5 minute walking warm-up, but otherwise tried to go hard on the running segments (I run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute).

It paid off! I shaved 1:51 off of my pace from last week, average out to 12:52. So not only would I have finished the marathon, but I would have had time to spare. I was so excited and confident! I felt fantastic afterward. So maybe I didn’t get the distance I should have today, but I got a huge  boost of confidence that I can actually finish this 26.2 mile monster, and that felt like running 100 miles.

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