#GAMEONPGH Training Update: And Just Like That, I’m Faster

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have noticed that my pace has picked up a bit. I’ve worked my way out of the 10:42 zone and have been running below 10:30. On my last long run, which was 7 miles, I ran at a pace of 10:16 per mile.

I didn’t do anything too special to achieve this; I swear…

I simply made a decision. Yes, just like that. A few weeks ago, a texted a good friend and said, “Should I run sub 9 miles tonight?” His response was, rightfully so, “I don’t think so.”

You see, I had been at 10:42 or even 10:50 for quite some time at that point. He also made the good point that I’d dialed back a bit on pace and distance, so this whole hyped-up sub 9 thing might not be a good idea. If you know me, though, you know that I like to do the opposite of what is advised…

…Which is what I did. I hopped on the treadmill and ran two mile sat sub 9. The first was 8:23, and the second was 8:48. I got off of the treadmil and thought, “Hmm. That wasn’t bad at all.” Granted, I was drenched and felt like it took a good amount of effort…but that was the moment when I realized that I was capable of more than I had been giving myself credit for.

I used to see the times of other runners on their Instagram photos and just feel like it would never be me. I made a decision to prove myself wrong, and I am so glad that I did. Since then, my mental game has become so much stronger and I have begun to respect myself as a runner more than I ever have before.

With this new found respect, I have been treating my body a lot better. I’ve been fueling it correctly and feeling a lot more proud of what it’s become (anyone that knows me understands that this has been a struggle since my daughter was born).

Plus, I have been doing a lot more to make sure my body stays healthy and injury free. Every night, I strength train. Seriously – every night. I do 75-100 squats (a variety of them), clamshells with a resistance band to help my IT bands stay strong, and A LOT of core work. Oh, and donkey kicks with an eight pound dumbell.

The lesson that I have learned here is that physical training takes you far, but a strong mental game takes your farther. You need to awaken what is within you and what you are capable of achieving. A quicker pace requires not only hills and speed intervals, but the believe that you can to it.

Am I Boston Qualifier? No; I am nowhere near that. But I am faster than when I started training, and that is what really matters to me. I still run three days a week, and I still perform a minimal amount of speed training. But I believe that I can do what I am doing; therefore, I can.

I encourage all of you to look closely at why you are not where you want to be, especially if you feel like you have hit some kind of wall. Is it because you can’t do it physically, or you can’t do it mentally?

I used to think my goal of 2:10 was a little unrealistic, but I can see that in my future.

Love yourself, love running, and believe.

 

As a reminder, you receive 10% off of your Pittsburgh Marathon or Half Marathon just for being a loyal reader of my blog! Use code POULLAS17 at checkout! 

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