Jennifer returns with the next installment of her experiences using Jeff Galloway’s 6 month training program.
In Part 1 we looked at my first month of coaching from Jeff Galloway. After Baltimore’s Charles Street 12, I jumped into a month of mostly uninterrupted training in preparation for the Navy Air Force Half Marathon. It was a pretty good month! I finally settled into some of the newer intervals and started to enjoy running again. What a change from how I was feeling about running just a few months ago!
After the Charles Street 12 I unexpectedly missed my next training run. I’d intended to do some track work on Tuesday after registering for Tink (Pixie Dust Challenge, here we come!) but a monsoon moved over Baltimore and I was persuaded against going outside by the river that used to be know as “the roads around our house”. So after a half-day leadership class on Thursday I decided to head out to a local lake and just run. I was supposed to do a “hilly run” and I guess I technically did: Centennial Lake is not a flat run. But I didn’t care about the terrain or what the plan called for. I didn’t do any AGs or CDs or other abbreviations. I just picked an interval and ran. And it felt nice! There was no counting or tracking pace or anything. I cleared my head, and watched the ducks and frogs and deer that decided to show themselves. It was a beautiful, unusually cool August day. And I was happy to be running! I’ll have to get back to track work on Saturday (which means an early morning since the high school football team is starting their two-a-days practices and have the field most of the day).
15 miles. Using an interval of 10 seconds running to 30 seconds walking. Going no faster than 15 minutes per mile. Holy cow, I almost psyched myself out of this run before I even stepped out of the house. I mean, that’s slooooooooow and loooooooong and, while I’m not exactly a social butterfly, I do have other things I want to do on a weekend day other than just running and running and running at a crazy slow pace…
As it turned out, this was a pretty good run. I was a little faster than the goal pace (closer to 14:45ish pace) but I was consistent for the whole thing, which is an improvement over my recent trend of petering out in the last 3-4 miles. I wasn’t sprinting on the run sections; instead I was doing more gentle glides as I sped up and slowed down. I wasn’t huffing and puffing, so my asthma was firmly under control. And, as a bonus, I finally had a run that called for enough mileage that I could do the BWI Airport loop from my house, rather than driving to the trail head. The total mileage was 16.58 miles, my longest run to date. I’ve wanted to do that run from home for a long time and I finally did it!
TMI Alert: One other thing I learned on this run: my shoes will not aggravate blisters on the tops of my toes! Yesterday I wore super-cute but apparently not-great-for-my-feet shoes for an important meeting at work. By the end of the day I had blisters all along the tops of my toes. I drained them overnight and put on Neosporin, but wasn’t sure if they would get irritated with all the flexing during the run. As it turned out, between my Injinji socks and my wide shoes, I had no problems. Yay!
There was a man dancing with an emu on the side of the trail. Dancing. With. An. Emu. Does it really matter what else happened on this run?
Today was my last long run before the Navy/Air Force Half Marathon next week. I did 5 miles at a slow pace (15 minutes/mile). I actually hit exactly 15 minutes on two miles, and the remaining three were pretty close (between 14:40-14:55). That may sound like not much of an accomplishment, but I’ve been trying to hit that goal time for 2 months. I tend to go too fast and slowing down has been hard. But I did it today.
The Navy/Air Force Half Marathon! The anniversary of my first half! I was unsure how this one was going to go because I missed my two short runs earlier in the week due to having the flu, and I still wasn’t feeling 100%. Jeff recommended that I start with 10/30 and if, at mile 10 I was feeling good, to move to 15/30 or 10/20. When I hit mile 10 I realized that I wasn’t feeling great, but I thought I could still make my goal of running the race to completion if I continued with 10/30. And I did! For the first time in over a year I ran my intervals for an entire race without giving up and walking the last few miles. And, for the first time in over a year, I came in solidly under 3 hours for a half! I didn’t beat my PR (which I set on this course last year) but I am definitely making progress in the right direction. This was a big win! I’m excited that in just two months with Jeff’s coaching I’m making more progress than I had in 6+ months on my own.
Looking ahead: I’ll have a busy month filled with mostly shorter races. I have two 5Ks before eventually leading up to the Baltimore Running Festival half. Hopefully this won’t derail my overall training too much. Jeff was really great about setting up a training plan that included all of my planned runs, but the 5Ks came up after the training plan was set. Find out in the next installment if I do my scheduled weekend runs in addition to the races or in place of them…