Jerry sent me the next 12 weeks of training. WOW. It’s pretty incredible to look at and to think that I might be able to DO all of this. His email warned me before I opened it: “After working on this for a while it was strange to look at an 85 mile week and think “This looks too easy”. That should warn you how HARD the rest of it looks.”
He also wrote in suggested pace ranges for these weeks.
Previously, I had been stepping down from my Grandma’s training paces slowly. Tempo before grandma’s was 6:05. So, 6:00 seemed like a reasonable target. After all, I had a really hard time hitting 6:05s most of the time, until I tapered. Jerry’s suggestions instead have me reaching for 5:45-5:50 now, and stepping that down to 5:40-5:45 in the next month. Marathon pace will now be 6:04-6:09, in a month it’ll be 5:59-6:04. My first reaction: what? is that even possible? But then I realized this is the exact same change that I’ve already made with race goals: I am much more aggressive in goal setting & not afraid to fall short (i.e. fail). I’m not sure why I hadn’t extended that thinking into challenging myself on training paces. After all, isn’t that how you get to those aggressive race goals – by training aggressively?
So, first tempo run inside a long run (18 miles) was Sunday. Goal was sub 5:50, per Jerry. First three miles at tempo I averaged 5:47, and felt pretty good (note that I didn’t hit these paces for tempo runs until the VERY end of the taper before Grandma’s, so it’s sort of odd to be back there now, without that same “my legs feel so fast!” taper feeling!). That equates to a sub 18:10 5k, which is crazy. The second three mile tempo was at the end of the long run in 5:56 or 5:57 pace. I was toast. I tried to dig, but that was all I had. I can tell I have a bit of work to do in re-gaining that long-run strength. But, overall, a great first long run/tempo workout, and super fun to realize that I actually CAN be hitting these new faster paces.
All it took was a little reminder — I am capable of much more than I think. I just have to BELIEVE. 🙂