Last week was the start of the training program I'm doing through the local running store. This will mark my third half marathon - but this is the first time I've done this type of program. I wasn't sure what to expect but even after just the first week, I couldn't be more thrilled with my choice to join.
The coaches sent out the training schedule for the week last Monday. There were two tracts - beginners and intermediate. The beginner plan incorporated three days of running with the other plan calling for 5-6 days. I ended up getting in 5 runs last week.
I knew I was back in love with running when I sacrificed an awesome hair day to get in a run between church services on Sunday.
I ran on my own Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and met up with the training group on Wednesday and Saturday.
Wednesday's practice with the group was intense. I went to the morning session which started at 6 a.m. (in the rain & cold.) We met up at a local school track to do different types of strides (cherry pickers, sideways running, backwards running, etc.) and then tempo work. We ran three tempo sets, each 5 minutes, of running as fast, but as consistent with our speed, as possible. The goal was to be running at 90 to 95% of our maximum with no ability to carry a conversation. The first set went fine but on the next two sets I couldn't control my breathing. It was like I had never run before. I left feeling really disappointed in my progress but excited about the program.
My running watch bit the dust last year and I've been eyeing a new one for a while. Wednesday's practice (& Nathanial - best husband ever) encouraged me to go ahead and get one so I could be more consistent in my pacing.
Friday night, I rushed over to the running store to pick one up after work. We attended a workshop at our church Friday night and I barely made it home before we needed to leave. I didn't get to play with my new watch until we got home but it was worth the wait. IT IS AWESOME.
The training group met at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. I was really nervous about the run because of how Wednesday had gone. This training program utilizes time instead of distances which made me nervous too. We were supposed to run for 75 minutes. Eek. There are over 100 women in the group and I had only met a few so that part didn't help either. Luckily my nerves were for nothing. It was the best experience. I was downright giddy and feeling awesome after we finished.
The coaches had some tables set up with shoes and water belts we could test on our run. Because of the previously mentioned nerves I opted not to add anything new to the mix, but I'll definitely be trying new products in the future.
I stayed towards the middle of the pack during the run. I was able to find several ladies who were running similar paces which was great. Conversations made the time fly by. One of the biggest differences I've noticed about running in Anchorage is the hills. They are everywhere. The locals aren't phased and tend to call everything flat - but to this Texan, even the littlest hills are hard. During the last hill of the run, I started talking with Kristen. I found her blog a few weeks ago when I was doing research on the training program and was thrilled to meet her in real life. My first blog friend!!
The trail we ran was great (minus the hills). I couldn't get over the stunning views or the beautiful weather!!!
This week's training schedule looks similar. I'm excited to see how it goes!
Post-run group picture!