Our Dumbo Double Dare #NatConTraining is in full swing and Saturday’s 8 mile run concluded week 7. That’s right, we are already on week 7 of 19! Time flys when you’re having fun (running).
We haven’t quite been the documentarians we were during #WDWNatConTraining for the Disney World Half Marathon this past January, but we’re working on that (just wait until we get into the weeks with a big walking day followed by a run day!). An exciting career opportunity for Connor came up early this month and he’s spending the summer working up in the Berkshires. So that means we’re both navigating a majority of our training solo. It was a little hard to get used to during the first week as our entire training and race journey thus far has been together (we ran the half marathon side-by-side and crossed the finish line holding hands), but this will certainly strengthen our mental toughness and help make us better runners.
The 8 miles I ran on Saturday went so much better than I remember the first time around; maybe I just have a different frame of mind now (or maybe it’s weather-related, who knows?). It’s also the farthest I’ve ever run solo and I did it without music (I’ve been listening to music during the short weekday runs, but not for the longer runs as I don’t want to make it a habit since we won’t be running with music during the actual race). Knowing how hot it was going to be this weekend, I made sure to have my clothes and fuel all prepped the night before so I could get outside before it got too hot. I had been thinking of what my run/walk strategy would be for this particular training run for a while. My recent MO had been 7 minutes running/3 minutes walking, but when I did that for the 6.5 mile training run two weeks ago, I realized that it was not quite a sustainable pace for me just yet. For our half marathon in January, we followed the Jeff Galloway Run Disney training program and our strategy was 5 minutes running/3 minutes walking for the first 5 miles, then 6 minutes running/4 minutes walking for the rest of the way with an added minute walk at each hour mark (plus GU time!). Using that as I guide, I decided to try 6 minutes running/4 minutes walking for the first 4 miles (then GU time!), then 7 minutes running/3 minutes walking for the remaining 4 miles.
The run definitely had its ups and downs, but overall it felt pretty good (I also took my new Packer hat for a spin, that must have helped)! I was very aware of my pace—not only because of the heat, but also because we’ve noticed that our paces quickened somewhere during our April/May training runs (must have been those two short beer runs we did, haha)—and kept it pretty well in check while still maintaining mostly sub-12 minute miles, save 2 of the 8 miles.
Next weekend the real fun begins: 1 mile walking on Saturday followed by 7 miles on Sunday. Stay tuned!