January 08, 2010


It's no secret that I've been sort of slack lately. I felt like I had just lost my lovin' feeling with running. I just couldn't get excited about it. Sure, I'd make some crazy insane goal (read: Boston) in hopes that training for it would make me excited. I'm here to report that it didn't. It actually did quite the opposite and made running seem more like a work-challenge, than a fun-challenge.

So, I figured I'd just spend a few weeks of running easy and see where the time takes me.

Yeah, that wasn't exciting either. I just find it really hard to motivate myself to go run 5 easy miles. Sounds so simple, but is ridiculously difficult.

Enter RC and his new and jazzy ways to change things up.

He sent our little team an email yesterday analyzing his running. He had lost some speed towards the tail end of 2009 and wanted to know why. After some serious spreadsheet work, and some pretty graphs, he discovered that the thing that changed was a remarkable decrease in mileage when it came to TEMPOS, Marathon Pace, and Interval training. Sure, he had been consistent with mileage, but as far as those three key ingredients above? Yeah, not so consistent.

So, he decided to take the data from the last 3 months leading up to his biggest PR for the year (which was Labor Day - he had like 16 of them but that was the best), and increase the TEMPOs, Marathon Pace, and Interval mileage by 20-30% for the next 90 days. See what happens, right?

And then he challenged all of us to do the same.

And well, I'm always up for a good challenge.

So, off I go to sort, analyze, tabulate, make graphical representations of my data for June, July, and August 2009. And guess what?

I was shocked at what I saw.

26 miles of TEMPO
24 miles of Marathon Pace
24 miles of Intervals

I hate TEMPOs. I mean I really really HATE them. But, I did more of them during that 3 months period than the other, much easier runs? And I still had an awesome PR at the Labor Day Road Race? Really? I did that?

And even discounting the fact that I ran more TEMPOS than the months later...I could totally double those numbers in 90 days. 26 miles of TEMPO is only about 3 miles a week. I'm in easy for a 4-miler once a week. And Marathon Pace? I could do 24 miles of that in my sleep! Heck I could do 48 miles of in my sleep!

You see where this is going, right?

Ummm, yeah, I got really EXCITED about running. For once in a very very long time. I don't have to focus on a sub-23 minute 5k time goal, or a 1:45 Half marathon goal, or an 8 minute TEMPO pace. I just have to focus on knocking out 52 miles of TEMPO runs and 48 miles of Marathon Pace and another 48 miles of Intervals.

(You know I couldn't just take the 20% challenge...I had to see the challenge and raise it to 50%. It's the overachiever in me.)

I can't decide if I'm more EXCITED about being EXCITED about running again, or if I'm more EXCITED about running for a purpose again! I can actually see myself meeting this goal and proving RC's theory is correct. I can actually see myself running because I want to...because I need to achieve this goal...because I have a goal that is fun...and more importantly because I can!


Laura Lohr : My Beautiful Life said...

BOSTON? You are incredible, Amy! I love reading about your growth as a runner.

I haven't been very good at commenting on blogs, as of late, but always reading!

Jim said...

I've been a rut too . . . check out my last two blogs. However, some things have changed my attitude recently and I'm ready to "strap 'em on" as the old ball coach used to say.

There is a method to everyone's madness and I'm glad you have found your niche. I'm not as young, tough (or pretty for that matter). Long runs, mid-week AMP runs, Yasso 800s, and one day of freestyle or fartleks always did it for me.

The most important thing is to not let it turn into work or get stale. Happy running!!!