A Little Uncomfortable

So, on today’s long run (8 miles), I had…how do I say it…trapped gas. By the end it was gone (and no I didn’t “get rid” of it in Central Park!) and I felt better. But, it was very uncomfortable. That’s something that’s happened to me a few times since losing the weight. It gets very painful and I’m pretty much a baby with pain.

But, I made the target pace I wanted (avg around 9:30). I found this great calculator online (http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/mcmillanrunningcalculator.htm) that you input your fastest 5k (or any other race) and it tells you what you can run the marathon (or any other race) in. It’s very helpful…my fastest 5K about a month ago was 24:43 so it says I should be able to shoot for around 4 hours for the marathon. Yes! So my long runs should be between 9:42-10-42 avg pace. I feel okay going a little faster, but not too much — I know it’s important not to overdo it.

Somebody asked on my last training blog how I went from not running at all to a 9 min mile avg pace. The short answer is just continually running and having a desire to go faster. Some people are quite satisfied with a slower pace and I think that is awesome. There is no requirement that you have to push for a faster time. I just WANTED to be faster. I’m competitive. I love pushing my limits to see what I can do. I’m so excited/thankful that I can actually do that with my body now. At 297 lbs one year ago I couldn’t push much of anything except bigger pant sizes.

So, how did I get faster? I ran the half marathon in April at just over 10 min/mile avg pace. I decided in the time between that and the start of training of the marathon I would try and get faster. So I started doing some interval work. They’re called “Fartleks” and they obviously have a weird name (appropriate with today’s title:), but they work! I would do a mile at 9 min pace and then 1 at 11 min. I also did many short runs like the 5K and kept pushing for a faster time. One particular run with a friend who just did his first Ironman Triathlon (!) was pivotal. He coached me as we ran and I actually did my fastest mile up to that point (around 7:50). I knew I could do it then, so I just kept pushing.

Now I’m doing my Tuesday 5 mile run as a “tempo” run…a minute or so faster than the pace you want to run the race at. For me that’s 8/mile. This is a very hard run but pays off big time when I go my target pace. I then do the long run on Wednesday with some intervals. Right now 2 min fast, 1 min slow with an easy 2 mile warm up and 2 mile cool down. Once again, HARD, but worth it when I feel how much easier it is to run my target pace.

These are just my current experiences…I have SO much left to learn and I’m happy about that. Have you had success with other methods? Educate me.

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