Fall Running Recap + December Goals

Fun story: this post was originally titled “October Running Goals”…and then I wrote 2 sentences and it sat in my drafts for a month. And then I pulled it out in early November, changed the title to November Running Goals, added a couple sentences, then…wrote a post about the election instead.

Despite my attempts, blogging has been difficult to commit to lately. But now that it’s Thanksgiving break and I have plenty of other work-related things I should be catching up on, it seems like no better time to procrastinate my real work and write a blog post!

Is it just me, or is summer just a no-go season for running? Every year for the past three years, I’ve trained for half marathons that happen in the spring and then I promptly stop running more than once a week for at least 3-4 months after that.

Sooo what I’m trying to get at is…I’m totally a cold weather runner. I started training for my first half marathon in the fall of 2013, so I was running a lot and starting to run long distances for the first time in 35-55 degree temps. This is totally my sweet spot, so after running only 5 miles in August (I was super sick most of the month), I have slowly kicked up my running as the temperature has decreased.

september

Even though I wasn’t actually posting it online, I did set some really loose goals for myself these past three months. I hadn’t run more than 3 miles in months, but I knew I wanted to do the Run To Feed The Hungry 10K on Thanksgiving, so my goal was to increase to 4 miles by the end of September, then 5 months by the end of October, and 6 miles (well, 6.2) at the end of November.

These goals actually really worked for me, forcing me to go out and be active on the weekend, increasing my total to 3 runs in a week a few times. I technically did my 4 miler on October 1, however I managed to also pound out a 6 mile run with my BFF on November 3, when I originally didn’t plan on doing anything close to that distance until the actual Thanksgiving race!

The least graceful photo ever in front of 1 World Trade Center!

The least graceful photo ever in front of 1 World Trade Center!

So needless to say, I felt pretty good going into the RTFTH on Turkey Day. I finally re-purchased some pre-workout near the beginning of the month and saw my pace shoot up. I’ve barely had any runs all month that were 9 minute miles or slower! That is unheard of for me. I credit some of that speed to re-starting Ultimate Frisbee during the summer…and just generally being pretty good about exercising 4-5 days a week every week.

I also can’t help but think a lot of my improvements stem from the fact that I went through a breakup in September. I think back to my last breakup 3 years ago and remember I had this similar feeling of like “Wow, if I can run 4 whole miles, I don’t need a man for anything! #girlpower”…there’s something to it! Being newly alone is hard, but having something to empower you – like achieving running goals – makes things a lot better.

Knowing that I would probably be pretty speedy on race day, I set myself an ambitious goal of 55 minutes, which was 30 seconds faster than my 10K PR. Apparently I underestimated race day adrenaline, because I beat that goal by over a minute!

rtfth

That’s 8:42/mile, folks! The fastest I’ve managed in a race of any distance. Kinda has me wondering if I can hold on to that pace for another 6.9 miles for my next half marathon 😉

Since I don’t yet have that race planned, but know that I could be running a half marathon as soon as March, I’m again going to stick with some pretty loosey goosey goals for December:

  1. Do at least 2 long runs, with one being at least 7 miles
  2. One day of speedwork per week (either a mile for speed OR treadmill intervals)

The first goal shouldn’t be too hard; Next weekend, I’m running the California International Marathon as part of a relay team, so that will knock one long run out right off the bat. And two of the legs are 7+ miles so I might check that box too, depending on who gets which leg!

The speedwork will be more of a challenge, but I think it’ll be necessary for me to continue improving my speed. I have a Pinterest treadmill interval workout that I’ve done before that I like, which is probably the ideal route. However, knowing that I’m always running late in the morning at the gym, I’m also giving myself the option of running 1 mile for speed. I did this for the first time in years earlier this week and ran an 8:20 mile, so that’s my time to beat!

Look at that, I finished an entire blog post! I’m off to go treat myself to a glass of wine to congratulate myself 😉 Have a great rest of your Thanksgiving weekend!

What are your current running or fitness goals?

Do you prefer running fast, short distances or slower long distances?

 

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