First, I have switched my approach to nutrition from purely weight loss to fueling for endurance running, but still with an emphasis on slow and steady weight loss. This means that my experiment with Paleo-style eating and completing a Whole30 challenge, while beneficial and helped me to identify and control the crap in my diet, does not help me with my running goals. I enlist the help from many different resources, most recently Matt Fitzgerald's Racing Weight book. It has the common sense approach, but the numbers and experience to back it up. I used his formula to figure out what my best racing weight is, and lo and behold, it is exactly where I was when I had the best performance to date.
Second, I've had to really evaluate how the events of this past Winter have had a negative impact on my training plan. My oldest daughter contracted mono last December, and had many complications from it, which ended up being a kidney biopsy. It was stressful for her, but seemed so much more so for me. I had a hard time controlling the emotional eating for a week or two. We've since had another health scare in the family, but thankfully everything checked out fine. Though, I'm back on track now, after a rocky road since then, I am looking at the last 6 months or so as part of my journey, and something I had to go through to learn and grow. I'm not where I want to be. I'm still coming to terms with it and trying to enjoy the journey. Constantly revisiting my goals is a good, constant reminder of what I want to accomplish and what I need to do to get there.
The training plan has been great to follow so far. It's got great variety and the challenging workouts are what they are billed, do-able, but most definitely challenging. I have had trouble sticking to the paces for the tempo runs, which has always been my downfall with endurance running. Part of my problem is being a one-speed wonder -- running too fast on my long runs, too slow on my tempo runs. I ran several finish times through various pace calculators, and I think I've come up with a solid pace to run this week's tempo run at - however, I was sick for almost a week and it's taken me another week to get back to speed, so there have been 2 long runs and several speed and tempo runs that were skipped. I've used the Runner's World Training Paces calculator to come up with this:
Based on my Half Marathon time of 2:10:00, these are my training paces:
Easy Run: 11:22 per mile
Tempo Run: 9:31 per mile
Maximum Oxygen: 8:36 per mile
Speed Form: 7:58 per mile
Long Run: 11:22 - 12:46 per mile
Yasso 800s: 4:25 per 800 meters
Everything was based around what I thought was attainable on the tempo run. We will see how it goes this week. You can see my progress over on Daily Mile by clicking on the widget to the left.
I'd like to end with a picture that really sums up why I finally got healthy and active for myself and my kids. My middle daughter, Miranda (in the blue shorts) recently ran a 5K with her school running club to benefit the Catholic Schools in the Duluth Area. I was unable to be there, but we talked about pacing, and picking out landmarks along the way to run/walk if she needed to. She finished it and was beaming when I saw her later that day. We are planning on many more fun runs during the Summer, and as a result I haven't over-scheduled them with camps and such, so that we can spend time together being active.