I spent most of the drive home from my half marathon in silence, staring out the window trying not to cry. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my husband frequently glancing my way, trying to assess how I was doing. Eventually, he took a deep breath and hesitantly (and very gently) said,
“You know, it seems like you have a lot more fun racing 5k’s and 10k’s.”
I turned and looked at him and said, “I can’t talk about that right now.”
I could’t talk about it because I didn’t want to admit he was right.
5 training cycles
4 half marathons
3 really bad races
1 “okay” race
That pretty much sums up my running for the last couple of years! It took a long time to get to the point where I could run consistently, but once I could, I raced a 10k and then immediately jumped into half marathon training. That’s all I’ve done since!
I feel like as runners, we have a drive to keep running faster and further. I think part of it is our own personal drive to do better, but I think part of it is also a kind of self imposed peer pressure. We see everyone else always racing half marathons, full marathons, and even ultra marathons, and we assume that’s what we have to do as well.
Well, I’ve decided that’s silly. I don’t have to try and “keep up”. No one is going to think less of me if I don’t run a half marathon this fall. So, instead I’m going to focus on mini-goals. Things I’ve wanted to do/accomplish for a long time, but couldn’t since I was so focused on training for a half marathon.
- Run streak! I love that I can post in my MRTT’s Facebook group and say that I want to do a run streak in June, and ask if anyone wants to join me…and I immediately get a bunch of people saying they’re in! These people get me.
- Run a sub 11 minute mile. When I first started running, the treadmills at my gym had three buttons front and center. One said “walk”, one said “jog” and one said “run”. The speed that the “run” button set the treadmill to was 6mph, or a 10 min mile pace. Ever since then, I’ve had it in my head that I couldn’t be a “real” runner until I could run a 10 min mile. Silly, I know…but it’s a goal of mine to get into the 10’s. I’m actually really close! I ran a 11:08 mile the other day, so I think this might be my first mini-goal I accomplish!
- PR a 10k. I’ve run several 10k races for fun, but never really for a PR. So I really want to focus on this distance! I’m not really sure yet how to go about doing that though. I’ve looked at some 10k training plans, but most of them seem to be more about getting you across the finish line, and less about getting across the finish line faster. So, I guess I’ll keep searching!
- Run a trail race. I love trail running, but don’t often get to do it since it didn’t ever fit very well with my training plan. Now I can! I’d like to fit trail running into my schedule more often, and then do a trail race!
Will I ever run a half marathon again? Probably. But for now, I’m excited to work toward my new goals and see what I can do!
What is your favorite distance to run? Do you have any 10k racing tips to share?