I rather impulsively decided to run a 10-mile race last Sunday, May 15, just to prove to myself that I could do it (kind of crazy, right?). I was curious to see:
1. how my body would hold up
2. if my current workout routine was keeping me in long distance running shape
3. what my race pace would be
Well I guess you could say my body held up. Now… miles 8 & 9 kind of kicked my ass. I had to dig deep, be mentally tough, and push through that final stretch. When you're that close to the finish line you just have to push through. My dad (a former marathon runner) always told me that the mind game is half the battle of distance running. I could not agree more!
The most rewarding part of winning my gender and age division was not getting 1st place, but doing it without long distance training. Just a year ago I was killing myself running 50+ miles a week while marathon training. I never got to run the marathon, due to injuries & due to the fact that I started to despise running. I wasn't running for fun anymore; I was running to log the miles. I am competitive and like a challenge, but running has always been a happy place for me and it became less of that and more of a job.
SO fast forward a year and I am back to running with Wrigley (my 3 year-old Vizsla) a few times a week & continuing to run on the treadmill at Orangetheory 3-4 times a week.
I compliment my Orangetheory workouts with, 2 days of barre, 2-3 days of 30-40 minute jogs & an occasional Bootcamp, sculpt, or Vinyasa class each week. This sounds like a lot, which it is, but if you're a distance runner you know this workout routine is not giving me a lot of road or trail mileage. I’m averaging about 20 miles a week, with a "long" run being 5-6 miles. Let's just say when I was marathon training my short runs were 4-5 miles, my long runs were 12-14 and I averaged 50 miles a week. So to go into this 10-mile race with little road training was a bit of an experiment for me.
I push my limits at OTF every time I go. Since joining the studio back in November 2014, I've increased my base, push, and all out paces dramatically. I think my push pace started at a 7.8-8.0 back in the day and I'm now running 9.1-9.6 consistently. So for me this begged the question, how would I do running a half marathon with just Orangetheory training + a few jogs with the dog each week.
That's when I decided to sign up for the Capital City Classic, a 10-mile race along the Sacramento River. It was a gorgeous May morning & and a perfect day for a long run. I had a goal in mind, but mentally I treated this run like any ordinary day’s jog and not like a race. While I didn't set a PR, I did cross the finish line before any other female & was 13th overall!
Not only was I incredibly proud of myself to learn that I won my division, but thrilled that I accomplished this without having to pound my knees 40 or 50 miles each week. The furthest I'll run in an Orangetheory class is 3.5-4 miles, but the interval, incline & speed work is 100% what helped me win my division. Finding a steady pace on flat ground becomes so much easier when you have been interval training 4 times a week on the treadmill.
I know, I know…here I go again, singing Orangetheory’s praises but seriously I continue to learn and grow every time I attend a class. I am still baffled that I was able to maintain a 7:21 pace for 10 miles just by running distances of (3-4 miles) outdoors 2-3 times a week!! I give full credit to OTF for the training leading up to the race. It's promising to know that I can continue this workout regimen & when the mood strikes, I can run races AND compete. Yep…I’m still on a “runners high” a week after the race & can't wait to do another one soon!
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- Feb 22, 2016 I "upped my push pace" at Orangetheory Fitness, here's what I learned...
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