Running in 2016

My goals for 2016 have been on my mind a lot in the past few weeks. Mostly because I have dealt with another small injury, a bad race, and now getting back into it. I was named an ambassador to a company and just got new cordless headphones to wear while zone out on the treadmill.

Needless to say: I am ready to run in 2016.

The first thing I have to touch on, and which I touched briefly upon in my last post, is what I learned about running and myself in 2015.

I feel like the majority of the year, I took it easy and ran comfortably without stressing my ankle. I had good shoes, Altra brand, am at the skinniest I have ever been, and lifted and did yoga like it was my job!

I ran and won two races, recovered well after them and continued to run throughout the fall. Then, my overbearing, you’re not doing enough mindset came back. I ran faster than I ever ran during road workouts. I ran the treadmill more than outside (maybe not more, but alot!), and began lacking on my stretching, foam rolling. I became lazy in my running form, and paying attention to what is the most important issue in my body.

Thus, I ran on ice and upset my ankle. I badly bruised the foot and continued to run on it. I attempted to run on the badly bruised foot, freezing cold and without proper food and water for a 50k. I’ll save the details but the race for me barely lasted over 15 miles.

Taking all this into account, I don’t really regret anything because I think i have finally accepted, or am still accepting as I go into the new year, that for me to be successful in running and in any athletic endeavor, I need to tune into MY OWN BODY. I need to fun me, and not compare myself or try to copy anyone else’s running plans.

If Paul (NWI runner) runs two/three ridges, and I know only one is enough for me then fine! If I read that a local NWI runner peaks at 100 miles a week, that doesn’t mean I need to do that too. Even though, the sound of that and self-confidence that would bring me would be amazing, I know that my ankle may not have the ability to sustain that long term. One year? Maybe. But 10 years down the road? Probably not.

So, looking forward to 2016, this is what I have in store.

With the help of my bf, who does Ironman races, we have designed a plan to incorporate those 100 mile weeks, but with biking and swimming. As a former swimmer (or swammer as my sister calls me) swimming will be mainly done as recovery. Biking will be added to long runs on the weekends to get in another 20 or so miles. I will also add in a few fast shorter bike rides during the week to get in more cross training if my legs are sore from running.

What I had to keep stressing to him, just to make myself understand and not freak out, is that I am still a runner. My running will still be the main part of workouts, but reaching 60/70 miles a week may be the max.

In addition to the endurance work outs, I will work on speed and interval training and incorporate 2/3 strength training sessions a week.

Starting the year off was my first ever brick workout. A brick is a triathlon term in case you didn’t know, because I ad no idea.

After 6 hours sitting at work, I came home and changed for my bf and my 2016 challenge: 1 mile swim straight, 20 miles cycle and 6 miles run.

The swim went by pretty quickly and easily-my main goal was just to get as far ahead of Ken as I could because I knew he would come back on the bike and kick my butt. After the swim I rushed into clothes, braided my hair into a very wet hairdo and hopped on a stationary bike usually used by the “older” people of the club. (We dont have great stationary bikes at the health club). Within a mile I realized I forgot my water bottle, I didn’t put my socks on because I didn’t want to waste the time and my hair was leaking out so much water onto my back I felt like I was back in the pool. Within 1.5 miles of my get ahead of Ken plan, he came out and hopped on (and within 6 miles he was passed me). The first 10 miles were painful. Just sore and tired legs after lifting the previous day  were bad enough, but mentally, I was struggling. I thought, “how in the world am I going to get through 20 miles? I can barely do 9?!”

I didn’t talk much to Ken during the bike, but every so often I looked over and he smiled at me, which helped a lot. I just tried to keep it in 90-100 cadence, or however you call it.

Ken finished about 2 miles ahead, but stayed pedaling until I caught up. Getting off, I was tired but ready for the next one: run fast(ish) 6 miles.

We nabbed the good treadmills, warmed up at an 8:15/00 min pace for the first mile then just flew. I did the second mile at 7:40, placed the towell over my screen when I hit 3 and did the next 3 miles at 7:30. By the end of that, it was all I could do from not peeking and keeping moving. My legs didn’t hurt, but were just fatiguing. I finally allowed myself to lift the towel and I almost cried with relief. I was at mile 5! I dropped the treadmill speed to a 7:40 pace for about .25 of  a mile, but the need to be done, and Ken sprinting to meet my distance (he had to back down for a mile, because he pulled something) pushed me back to the 7:30 pace.

We finished the run in 46 mins I believe, the bike took about 1 hr and 5 mins, and I am not sure on the run.

The best part of the workout? It was something new, something that pushed me and when I looked over with .25 of a mile left Ken smiled and high-fived me as we sped off toward the end. I think I can do more of these workouts, was one of the first things out of my mouth.

Afterwards, we stretched and rolled a little-or rather flopped on the ground. Then went back to my parents house and they ordered a pizza and I made everyone a small salad, and I proceeded to eat a salad bigger than my head like always.

I am happy I did the workout, especially since I struggled mentally with the bike portion. I look forward to more workouts like that as I train for the marathon in April!


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