Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Week 4 Wrap Up and Some Questions about Speed

Week 4 of training had its ups and down. On the down side, my grandmother passed away and that knocked the wind out of my sails as you might imagine. It was very hard to stay focused through my shorter runs, and I ended up having to turn one of them into some weird speed session-I couldn't keep my mind focused on the run, but I had a lot of restless energy that I needed to get out., so I just ran all out until I had to stop and walk, and then repeated for a couple of miles. It wasn't exactly what I was supposed to be doing, but that was what my body needed at that moment.

Saturday night was my long run-5 miles! I rocked it. It was pouring rain and I had no visibility and my glasses kept fogging up and my water shoes are ironically NOT very suitable for getting wet, because the soles come up and start sliding around and I had to stop every mile to fix them. All that being said, that was the best run I've ever had in my life. The first couple of miles were rough, but by the time I hit mile 4, I was got a nice little burst of energy and was able to speed up and finish my run with a flourish! It was exhilarating.

My schedule this week picks things up quite a bit. Last week was a 9 mile week, and this week is 14 miles. My short runs increase in length to 3 miles, and an extra 2 mile run is added in as well. My long run will be 6 miles.

A word about speed. I'm NOT a fast runner. A 12 minute mile is really good for me, and I average 13-14 minute miles. How important is speedwork at this point in my journey? The race in Augusta gives you a 3 hour time limit. Should I be working on speed in order to come in under that, or should I just continue to focus on my training plan and increasing my distance? I'm also kind of under the impression that because I weigh 200+, its pointless for me to worry about speed too much, because the extra weight just makes it all that much harder? I would really appreciate your opinions on this. Any advice is welcome!

I hope everyone is having a great week!


  1. I got out the calculator and if you can maintain a 13 minute mile you will do the half marathon in 3 hours. So by my "calculations" you are awesome!!

  2. Argh- had a fabulous comment typed out but since my hubby was logged into his WP account, I LOST it. :(

    A) You are my hero. You committed to this, and have been pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and you are totally rocking it. I am so inspired by you!

    B) Funny about the shoes!

    C) Oh... right... the speed stuff. I think what you did instinctively was exactly what you needed to do. Intervals, baby! Sure, there are formulas and methods and all that... but basically it is just push yourself hard, recover, push yourself hard again... wash, rinse, repeat.

    D) And... did I mention that you are my hero? (Cause you are.)

  3. I'm so sorry about your Grandmother. Good for you for listening to your body and giving it what it needed. Interval training can never hurt!!
    You are so rocking this and you are going to kick ass at your half marathon!!
    I've found a 5K that I'm going to do in Sept and as long as everything continues to go well, I'll be doing my first half marathon in June 2011. You are such an inspiration to me!!! <3

  4. Jen so sorry about your g'ma. I am glad you took the time you needed to get it out the way you needed to. As far as the marathon goes I feel like you should continue to train the way your body tells you too. If you try too hard your going to push yourself right into an injury. Then you will be watching the marathon from the sidelines! If your doing 13 minute miles that is amazing in itself! Your weight is not a factor, look at those guys on the biggest loser finishing marathons at 300lbs. You gots this babe! Don't start second guessing yourself, or I will have to have a talk with "Old Jennifer" and I will not be nice! Ok unpleasentries aside, you know you rock so keep it up! Love you sister from another mister!

  5. Hi Jen, First off, my condolonces on the loss of your grandmother. You will be in my thoughts and I'll be sending good energy your way. Second, I totally relate to the time concern. Speed has been the least of my concerns in my training. If I run the whole way and finish, I am thrilled. That being said, I know the Half-marathons have time limits so we have to be a bit concerned. It sounds like your right on track - and you have a good bit of time to keep progressing. Hang in there! And keep up the excellent work.

  6. Have loved reading your blog! I think speed will come as you continue to develop as a runner, you are doing a great job!

  7. Hi there. I don't know how long your training plan is but generally there are three phases. The first several weeks are base building. Take this time and don't worry about speed, simply get your mileage up. After you're more comfortable being able to run long distances, maybe work in one day of speed work (repeats, pickups, fartkles, plain old intervals, whatever you dig). And the last phase being tapering. I'm not a very fast runner either. The way I see it, if I can't even run 13 miles, who cares if I can do it fast?! haha.

    Good luck to you.