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Runners: REST will allow you to be your BEST

I won’t deny that it has been bothering me that I had not signed up for an additional marathon in July or August so I decided to sign up for a few local races to keep myself fine-tuned and feel the adrenaline of racing again until my next marathon in October. This should hold me over … LOL!

So here’s what’s on tap:

NH 10 Miler race on August 25th – I tackled this run again today in 1:27:05 after a 3 year hiatus (1:29 in 2015 and 1:32 in 2014). What I learned today is that you really need to be fully rested in order to bust out a great run. I knew going into today’s race that I was not fully rested AT ALL but wanted to treat this as a hard training run and just see what I could do. I had previously run weeks of 45, 55, 55 miles with only 40 miles this specific “race week”. Now I KNOW in a marathon, I can cover 10 miles in anywhere between 1:27 – 1:28 now if I am having a good day AND that is with having to run 16 MORE MILES AFTER THAT! So I felt pretty confident I could hit that mark today with little difficulty. However the NH 10 Miler is a tough course with giant hills at miles 2, 4, 7 and 9. Well, mile 2 is not so bad. Mile 4 is pretty bad. Mile 7 is tough and by mile 9, it’s not totally awful but it is long and you are tired. I’m pretty sure now as an experienced marathoner, this course should feel completely different to me and I did feel stronger, but the hills are still really tough. Pat & Stephanie also ran this race as a relay so we had this ongoing “bet” that they are going to beat me. Sure, Pat is much faster than me and when I saw him at mile 2 a bit ahead of me, I knew he wasn’t going to let up. (It didn’t help that I was totally trash talking saying I would be the one taking pictures as THEY approached the finish line… LOL!) Stephanie had never run more than 4 miles at once and that kid ran 5 miles in 43:15! Come to find out they finished in 1st place as a COED relay team and 4th out of 85 relay teams overall. I was very excited to treat myself as a lab rat. I wanted to see what I could do without being fully rested but also after 3 years of skipping this race and having 15 more marathons under my belt. I consider being 3 years older and shaving almost 2 and a half minutes off my running time to be pretty darn good! As I recall these were my splits I read on my watch at each mile:

  1. 8:07

  2. 16:10

  3. 25:15

  4. 34:10

  5. 43:44

  6. 52:39

  7. 1:01:17

  8. 1:10:20

  9. 1:19:23

  10. 1:27:05

I felt pretty good, but the thing is DURING A MARATHON when I am FULLY TAPERED and RESTED, I am able to beat THESE time points! I felt capable but I was working hard. Sometimes in a marathon, I am able to just “go”, disassociate myself from the run and not really even think about it. Today I was definitely thinking about it. It proves the point to me (YET AGAIN) that the magic is in the taper and your body has to be optimally rested to run effortlessly. The truth is that I didn’t want to run less miles these past few weeks just for this particular race. I’m trying to reach 2000 miles this year and that would compromise that goal! Regardless, I am still happy with my PR for now but I am also very glad that I did NOT have to run 26.2 miles today because I was tired after 10 miles. Usually, in a marathon, I am just warming up!

But what blows my mind and I'm truly psyched about is that I ran this grueling race BETTER than I did 3 and 4 years ago when I was more youthful (LOL!) I love that runners CAN gain strength and efficiencies AND IMPROVE over time. It is completely awesome and very rewarding. This is what I love about running - that you can do it at any age and it's all up to you how well you do by how much you put into it. The human body is completely amazing to me.

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day 10K on September 9th – I threw this race in there because I have run the 5K before years ago (last time 2015) and the 10K is new and essentially just 2 loops instead of 1. I thought, what the hell, let’s go crush this race too. My goal will be to get in the very low 50’s if the luck of the Irish is with me. LOL (not really)! Ironically, the last time I ran this race was in 2015 and I flew to Dublin, Ireland later that same day….thankfully, I do NOT have to do THAT again!!! I figure if I just ran 6 miles in 52 minutes for the 10 mile race, I probably can shave some additional time off that and hopefully finish in the high 51’s. My recorded personal best for a 10K is 53:22 but that was 4 years ago (before marathon training) and I know I can crush this number now. I have run 52:25 at the 10K time point in my personal best marathon last year so I am hopeful I can break 52 minutes knowing that I only have to run 6.2 miles total.

POST RACE UPDATE: Yeah check that off the list. TWO personal bests in the 10K for each of us. It was a good race with 1 hill (that we saw twice due to it being a loop course). At mile 1, got a very bad side stitch and wasn't sure how I was going to keep an 8:12 pace (mile 1 marker). I thought about stopping because it hurt so bad but kept going and prayed to God that it would go away. It did after I climbed that first hill and then I eventually got into a groove. I knew I was cooking when I hit mile 4 at 33:10 and mile 5 at 41:14 and I was determined to get under 51 minutes. It was not so easy to push out a sub 51 minute 10K after 4 weeks of running 50 miles per week, but I got it done and I'm glad. Check out these splits and KICK time below. NOTE: I did have a faster kick time than him. LOL! I will catch him eventually..... he runs this well and he's only racked up 200 miles this year vs. my 1325 (as of this race). Unbelievable!!! But what I love the most is that we are proving that AGE means absolutely NOTHING. You are only limited by your own thoughts. I believe so therefore I can do it.

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