Over the years, I can honestly say that I have never had a training cycle quite like this one!
Yeah, I used an exclamation point for a reason.
Over the years I have been one of those haphazard training kind of runners, who depended more on natural ability than actually training. I did have a little ability, but don’t brag about it very often very often, since I have never been able to live up to the potential that some saw in me as a runner.
My issues were I seldom made a real effort to stick with a training plan when they got harder. Sometimes because the plans were too aggressive for where I actually was physically or mentally, I got bored with it, found something else that sparkled in my eye for the moment and led me down a different type of training rabbit hole or more likely I injured something – at least that would be my excuse.
However, if I am honest with myself and with that 20/20 hindsight – I was a chicken.
I was not willing to do the hard work that is necessary to run well and found or made up excuses to not run well.
Since January, I have been using the Hansons Half Marathon Training Plan and something has clicked within this old fart’s mind and body. While I haven’t been perfect about following the plan, I have followed it better than I have any other training in my entire running career, even though it is probably the hardest I have ever worked as a runner.
I am running better than I have in years – like since the mid 80s.
Even though during my glory days I might have run faster, but I know without a doubt that I didn’t work this hard.
No, I will never be a great or even good runner, I do not have that kind of drive, but I am showing myself that I can do more than I thought I would be able to at over 60 years old. Sometimes it just takes some of us longer to learn what we need to do versus finding excuses on why we can’t run better.
Today’s workout is one that for most of my running life I would not have even attempted, much less had the confidence, mental fortitude and physical stamina to actually complete. The good or depending upon how you are looking at things, the sad part is I can say this for most of my Something of Substance (SOS) workouts since I moved to the strength portion of this training cycle.
What kind of workout did I do?
- 1.0 Mile warm-up
- 5.0 Miles of tempo work at my hoped for half marathon pace
- 1.0 Mile a little faster
- Bathroom Break
- .50 Re-warmup
- 4 x .1 @ a fast pace with .1 rests
- 4 x .1 @ what I would like to imagine is my 1.0 mile pace. The funny thing is that these four felt better than the previous set and according to my Milestone Pod, my ground contact time was down around 193, which is pretty good and the amazing part to me was that I felt fluid while running that fast.
- .50 Cool-down
- For a 10.0 mile total.
Yeah, this is one of those workouts that I could not have imagined doing just three months ago. The 6.0 miles at tempo pace would have intimidated the hell out of me and then to add on those fast strides – well my body would not have held up to the paces and I would have blown out a hamstring without any doubt.
No, I am not getting cocky or arrogant, because I still have a long ways to go with my running, but at the same time I am running closer to my potential than I ever have and it feels right for the first time in a long, long time.
I know that the hardest parts of this training plan lie ahead of me over the next 3-4 weeks, but due to the work that I have already done, I have a sense of confidence that I can complete the workouts, even though I will struggle with some of them, due to the hard work that I have already put in.
You know something I had forgotten how good it feels to be running well.
It really does help when you finally find a running philosophy and training program that fits your personality and forces you to do stuff that scares the hell out of you when you first see what is in the plan. Then when you do just a bit more each week and look back on the progress you are making, well it has been a long time since I have run this well.
I may not be running what are considered to be fast paces by many runners, but for me they challenging and most importantly realistic for where I am now on my runner’s journey.
Now to just stay with the plan.