Today's Run: ~ 12 miles on Heartbreak Hill - tough run but kept up ~ 8:30 pace
Notes: Misty rain and fairly warm for late December. Nice running weather.

Running Resolution #4: Run faster farther (no wimping out on long runs)

I started marathon training in October 2008 as a challenge to myself. I had just run my second BAA Half Marathon and my time was considerably worse than it had been the first time I ran the same race. I wasn't running regularly. I was only half committed to my running regimen. I was disappointed in my performance and knew it wouldn't change without a lot of hard work. So I signed up for my first marathon - Big Sur International Marathon - taking place 6 months later.

Nothing like a kick in the ass to get in gear. All I knew about Big Sur was that the views are incredible and it is supposed to be one of the hardest marathons in the world thanks to a steep 2-mile climb in the middle and numerous, mountainous hills throughout the race. All the better for me. I was too scared to miss a training run for fear of losing it on any one of those hills.

So I stuck to my training plan and ran 25-35 miles most weeks. However, I didn't try to run fast. I only cared about going the distance and being able to finish that marathon. Most of my long runs fell into the 9:30-10:30 range. I was hardly even winded when I got home.

Then the day of the race came. I spotted pace groups and decided at the starting line to join the 4:30 bunch. I figured I could run about this pace and thought the group would help me get over those hills. It did. The one thing I wasn't expecting was my surge at the end. I hadn't run any part of the race that hard so I had a ton of energy. I left the group at mile 24 and beat the 4:30 pace by more than 5 minutes . It shocked me (I loved it) and that's when I knew I had it in me to run faster.

A few short months later I ran the NYC Marathon, another toughie, and took about 35 minutes off my marathon time. Now I'm just 11 minutes shy of a Boston qualifier and I'm not slowing down.

This resolution, which I've already started working on, is to tackle my training runs stronger and faster than I did last year. I'll still account for recovery days and planned easy runs, but I want to be sure I'm making the most of everything I do. No more wimping out on long runs!

Oh, and I did run the BAA Half Marathon again this past October. This time I finished 10 minutes faster than last year. The extra effort and dedication is paying off.

How about you: Do you run for speed, distance or both?


Almost all I knew regarding Big Austral was that this views tend to be incredible which is supposed to be among the hardest marathon races in the world because of a high 2-mile ascend in the middle and many, mountainous hillsides throughout the competition.

03/13/2017 21:22

How I wish I have the same amount of courage and dedication as you! I'm done writing my new year's resolution two months ago. Part of that was to spend more time on cardiovascular exercise. At first, I was having a flawless time. But just like anybody else's experience, my schedule would always screw me! Now, I wasn't able to maintain a right amount of running as an exercise. I want to gain that courage again! By the way, thank you for pushing me to be back on track again.

06/17/2017 03:00

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