Said to the tune of “WINNING”.

Courtney Winning (1)
Winning, Courtney-style (via)

I’ve mentioned numerous times that this training cycle has been tough mentally. I felt like I wasn’t getting faster, wasn’t seeing improvement, blah, blah, blah. Self doubt at its best. Even though I know I don’t generally see improvement until the end of a training cycle, I was still impatient.

I was getting the most frustrated at the track. Track workouts aren’t my favorite to begin with and my times were pretty stagnant and wreaking havoc mentally. So I took a break from the track. We needed some time apart.

For the past 3 weeks, I continued with speed work but instead of repeats I added more hills, tempo, and progression runs. As the wise Meggie said, solid and consistent hard work doesn’t disappear or go to waste. Remember that. Thank you Meggie for that comment. Those words have been in the back of my mind for the past few weeks.

Thursday I returned to the track for 3×1-mile repeats. I already decided I would do them at 10K pace (roughly 7:35-7:40) since I have 20 miles on Saturday. It was dark out and I couldn’t see my Garmin so I went by effort. After the first lap I took a peek at my Garmin was pretty shocked to see 6:40 as my average pace. WHAT?! I knew I had 3 laps to go and would never maintain that pace. I have never run a sub-7:00 minute/mile in my life.

With a half lap to go I peeked again and saw 7:02 average pace. I kicked it up a notch and finished in 6:59!!! Just barely under 7:00 but I’ll take it. The best part? I wasn’t dying.  Yes, it was faster than 10K effort but my breathing was more controlled than expected. 

My next 2 repeats were closer to 10K pace (7:19 and 7:20), but still faster than I predicted.

I’m definitely peaking as they say. I’m also running on some very tired legs. I hope this all translates into a sub-3:40 at Boston!  Speaking of which, today marks the 1-month countdown!


Got a running breakthrough to brag about?  It doesn’t have to be a PR…maybe a distance you never though you’d run or a pace you never thought you’d hit. 

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  1. says

    That’s awesome! So great when all your hard work gets validated. I don’t have a running breakthrough but I was really excited when I went on a 30 mile bike ride on hills and winds and my legs weren’t even tired (another others couldn’t keep up!)- seemed like all those trainer rides actually helped me.
    Alyssa recently posted…Rock and RollMy Profile

  2. bethp262 says

    nice repeats! you are so going to rock boston!!!
    my brag is that lately i have been able to do my 10-mile runs at a sub-8 pace and it feels kind of easy.. okay, maybe not exactly easy but more like a moderate effort. this gives me hope that i will have a half-marathon pr again in my life! (current half pr is 1:46:something)

  3. says

    nothing to brag about at the moment – i have been pretty stagnant on speed lately – but awesome job on the repeats! from my perspective at least, i feel like you have been rocking this training cycle and have no doubt you’ll run a sub-3:40 next month. So excited for you – BOSTON!!!! :)
    claire recently posted…Endurance Life Coastal Series: WalesMy Profile

  4. says

    That’s awesome speed! Running without stalking your Garmin feels good–feels even nicer when the results are better than you expected. :) Seeing improvements for this training cycle compared to my last two are what I’m proud of. Hopefully it shows in my races this year. :)
    Sokphal @ Life as a Classroom recently posted…PlaylistMy Profile

  5. says

    I love that picture of you! And hooray for peaking at the perfect time! That’s awesome and you should feel great. I have no running excitement to talk about but will live vicariously through you :)
    Kelly recently posted…on doubt and my coreMy Profile

  6. says

    That’s great! I personally hate mile repeats! Although I guess you could say I had a breakthough with all my mile repeats being under 7mm. I was so excited. Then I went and CRUSHED a tempo run…and realized well in fact I still suck at mile repeats :p
    Celia recently posted…running happyMy Profile

  7. says

    Nice job! That’s a confidence builder, for sure. I think taking a break from the track was just what you needed.

    My breakthrough would have to be that I can now stay with my partners on the track again. I had an almost year-long layoff to injury and just got back to running in November. I didn’t think I could get back my fitness so fast. Not in PR shape, I’m sure, but just being able to hang with the girls feels great!
    misszippy recently posted…Call me the skee ball queenMy Profile

  8. says

    They always say, TRUST THE TRAINING!!!! And you are freaking doing amazing!!!! I can’t believe Boston’s in a month. holy CRAP!!! I’m excited for you. Wish I could be there to cheer you on, but I will totally be there in SPIRIT! I feel like you just did the NJ marathon (well it was almost a year ago…). Seriously??? Is it here already?!??!

    So, you have 20-miles on tap tomorrow and then are you drinking your ass off and celebrating St. Paddy’s???
    Rachel recently posted…Bestselling Author Shares 3 Tips for Building Your Blog AudienceMy Profile

  9. says

    The sub-3:40 will be yours!

    The one breakthrough I can think of is when I *finally* broke 25 minutes for a 5K post-pregnancy. My pre-preg PR is 22:34–but coming back I just saw one slow time after another. When I finally focused, I got below 25. I was hoping for below 23 this spring until I hurt my back. Oh well. My new breakthrough will be….learning patience.
    Terzah recently posted…Thirty Minutes is Better Than NothingMy Profile

  10. says

    Those are some speedy miles- well done! :)

    I had my first track work out in years the other day. Its a big step for me because it has a lot of bad (injury) memories. But I had fun and am almost looking forward to some speedwork in the future.


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