Sometimes it isn’t about hitting the paces…

Last Saturday I had a pretty discouraging workout (I know, I take running way too seriously but I am a lot better about getting over bad workouts than I was a few years ago;) and I was WAY off on my assigned paces for the day.  I texted my coach about it right after I finished and like usual he had some great things to say:

“Remember, you will not ‘hit’ every workout.  It’s about pushing you.  If you hit every workout then I am making them too easy for you.”

Saturday’s workout was much more of a mental workout for me.  I wasn’t hitting my paces but the workout did a lot for me in the sense of learning to finish the workout when I was REALLY wanting to quit. Sometimes paces really don’t mean anything.  It is hard for me to get past that because I am a numbers freak but I think it is really important to learn to run based on feel a bit.  Knowing when you need to back off to avoid overtraining is so important.  Knowing when it is okay to push yourself out of your comfort zone is huge.  Running the splits that you set out to do isn’t always the most important part of the workout—>  pushing yourself is and that may come out as a different pace than expected.  Some days my easy runs with paces a few minutes slower per minute than my speed work feel really hard and that is because my legs are tired and I am in the middle of recovering from my last hard workout.  Does that make any sense?  

Basically—>  I’m just telling you what I need to learn. Paces don’t always matter.  Pushing yourself (when you are supposed to… not when you are supposed to be taking it easy) does.  

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Today was about hitting the paces after a day off from exercise, lots of sleep and sprinkle carb loading.   

Today’s workout:

2.4 mile warm-up

8 x .5 miles (I went on the streets today because I get freaked out going to the track too early by myself) with about a 2.5 minute recovery jog in between each one.

Splits for the .5 miles—>  3:00, 2:55, 2:58, 2:56, 2:56, 2:56, 2:57, 2:55. 

2.4 mile cool-down

10.7 miles total

The weather was nice and cool this morning which I am sure helped me to feel a lot better than I did on Saturday.   

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Megan was gone for Brooke’s birthday (how dare she;) and so we went to lunch today to celebrate.  

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Brooke received her first ever lip gloss and went to town.  

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You know you are in marathon training when you stop to stretch all over the place.  Gotta keep those IT bands happy.  

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Princess Sofia isn’t a huge deal at our house or anything like that;)

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I love seeing Mary using her HUNGRY shirt while practicing yoga!  

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My favorite mantras/phrases for race day are here!

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Are you a runner crazy about numbers/splits/paces etc?  

-I am and I need to take a step back from it often:)  

Favorite phrases that you repeat during a race?

How was your run today?  Hot?  Humid?  Good temps?  Ready for Fall running?

What was your lunch today?

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58 comments

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Brooke applies lip gloss like I do lol.

When I was marathon training I’d tell myself the crappy ones are the ones that count the most. The ones that challenge you, and make you work for it.

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So so so true Erica.

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Haha your stretching picture cracks me up because that is my life right now… I have an IT band injury and do that stretch everywhere… My coworkers probably think I’m nuts!

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BOO to the injury. I always wonder why people look at me funny when I stop to stretch wherever we are and then I remember not everyone is a runner and they probably don’t get why my IT band needs to be stretched out RIGHT THIS SECOND:)

I hope your IT band gets better asap!

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the finish line in that image (from the article you wrote) looks like a bouncy house. so i’d like to submit that idea. why NOT finish line bouncy houses?

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you are brilliant.

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I have to remind myself that the bad workouts make me stronger too. It isn’t about hitting the paces perfectly but about learning something from each run!

No workout today, I just got off a plane. Excited to be back to it tomorrow after a few days off!

I am so ready for fall running!!

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That first run back after some time off feels oh so good. Enjoy and I hope you had a great trip!

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Brooke is so beautiful! You’ve got a future Heartbreaker on your hands. I am in the Midwest here and did a half marathon Saturday, it was high 87 degrees and so humid. So ready for fall!

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AHHHHH how did you do 13.1 miles in that weather… you are a rockstar. Seriously.

I know… I am already worried about the teen years.

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Be kind to yourself, look at that improvement……stopping at 10.7 miles….

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hahaha right!?!? That would have driven me nuts a few years ago but today I was back to my car at 10.7 miles and the thought of running .3 miles more didn’t even cross my mind. Hope you are having an amazing day Erica!

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I actually repeat the names of my husband and kids over and over again as I run. Focusing on their faces helps me remember why I work hard to be fit.

I used to get really caught up in the numbers of my runs, I was relatively fast but I lost the love of running. I stopped wearing my watch a few months ago and although I’m not as fast I’m much happier running which makes it easier to go.

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I absolutely love that Amy… probably the best thing to think about during a race:) GOOD FOR YOU to figure out what makes you happy and do it.

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I am not a fiend about time/pace/distance. I sometimes can be, but overall i can’t worry about that. My overall mantra would probably be “it’s fine, you’re doing it, keep going, you’ll be okay.” hahaha

and UGH fall running. Not in SoCal!! My bike ride to work was an easyish 9 miles, probably mid 70s, all downhill. My bike ride home after work? is going to be a MESS. 5pm, all uphill, 90 degrees. yaaaaay….

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GOOD LUCK on the ride home… that sounds pretty miserable. Get a slurpee right after to help you cool off:) Love your mantra. I need to use that one in life when I start feeling anxiety about random things ha.

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So true. If you hit every pace for every workout, it would be like, what’s the point? You are challenging yourself and pushing yourself and so those workouts are going to be TOUGH, cause ummmm sub 3? Ya. That is freakin hard. I just think you are doing awesome. This training cycle is has been different. You are doing these workouts on your own (no speedy friends most of the time) and that makes it harder; you are listening to and respecting your body; you are doing the things necessary to avoid injury and so on. I am so proud of you and I cant wait for you to get those goals after all this hard work.

But now, here is the thing….has Princess Sophia taken over Brooke’s love for Minnie? It is making me reconsider my present and there is still time to change so I need the honest truth. I gotta make the Brooke happy so that maybe I can erase the memory of her asking to go to Candice’s house when she was at mine away from my memory.

Lunch was leftovers from dinner last night (thai green curry with roasted veggies) But a salad from tacos 180 sounds mighty fine. I think we need to plan a celebratory lunch date soon (celebrating back to school, obviously)

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Thanks meg. I am pretty sure you get me better than I get myself:) Seriously though.

Hahahaha Brooke is still just as obsessed with Minnie. Her other grandma got her Minnie stuff and she almost passed out she was so excited. No reconsidering:)

I am free from Tuesday of this week until Tuesday of next week so let me know when we can celebrate with Tacos 180.

Your dinners… you are a chef.

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Beautiful sunrise to watch while running!!!!

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I used to be a huge numbers freak when it came to running. I was constantly looking for that PR but it took me years to figure out that if I push myself that har on my work outs there’s no way I’m getting a PR for race day. Sometimes I still have to remind myself not to be so picky about my times on every run.

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I am pretty crazy about my pace and get really discouraged if I don’t hit a certain pace, but I am learning that sometimes I need to back off a little to prevent injury.
I don’t have any phrases that I repeat, but I definitely need to get some to prevent my mind from thinking about how much pain I’m in!
I had a cross training day, so I biked 13 miles and did some strength training. No running. And I am SO ready for Fall weather!
My lunch today was a turkey wrap, pretzels, and raw veggies with hummus!

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I love when people share the workouts that didn’t quite hit the mark! I had one on Saturday, but by the end I was just ecstatic that I finished it!

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In the 4 years (??) of following your blog, I don’t remember you ever NOT hitting your paces! Seems like you are always spot on and manage so well. Great job, Janae.

My lunch was tofu, tomato, and mayo on sourdough bread. Yes, I’m weird and love tofu! It was delicious.

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Has it been four years?!? That is crazy! Thank you so much Amanda. Um… that lunch actually sounds really good to me. Hope you have an excellent Monday night:)

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Yep. I am guilty of being a little OCD about my paces, splits, miles etc.
I will work on it :)
We won’t really have fall running here till late Nov/early Dec. – Sept. and Oct can be our hottest months.
Salad for lunch!
Happy Monday!

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Lunch was leftover homemade pizza with mushrooms. Too bad I ate it at 10:30 this morning. Ever have one of those days when you’re just soo hungry?!

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Oh yes, numbers freak! If I know my Garmin isn’t working and capturing the mileage right I will go further just for the number I have in my head to appear. I think all runners have a numbers issue. Lunch today was green beans and a cherry smoothie! It’s too hot in Phoenix to eat anything else.

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I’m glad I’m not the only one that has easy runs that feel harder than speed work!

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You are DEFINITELY not alone.

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I have never related more to any picture than your stretching in the aisle of Target picture! Hahaha, hilarious!!
As of lately, I repeat “don’t take things too seriously” especially when I’m not hitting my pace (numbers freak!!)
Today was an easy run indoors because we have another heat warning outside!

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i really needed to read this today! I’m still trying to get back to pre baby shape and I’ve been pretty hard on myself lately about not being able to do what I was doing before. Thank you!

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Girl, it literally took me about a year to feel like myself again (as far as running goes and my body in general) after having Brooke. My sister always says it takes 10 months for your body to grow a baby… it takes 10 months for it to recover and get back to normal too! Go easy on yourself and the running will come back!

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Stretching in the toy section of Target. Classic! I’m notorious for stretching in the checkout line at the grocery store.

I used to obsess more about hitting numbers and pace before I had a coach. Every workout had to be “perfect.” Since being coached, I try to take the bad with the good and learn from my “off-days.”

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I had a grilled cheese for lunch. As always, it was delicious

I don’t know – I don’t get concerned too much. I just wish I could run right now….getting bored :-(

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I always remind myself that the bad workouts will teach me how to keep pushing when I want to quit, which is so important for racing and for life in general.
It felt like fall this morning – 55 and foggy – but I had to stick with the treadmill because I was crunched for time. Hopefully the cool mornings keep up here!

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Your coach is one hell of an encouraging guy! I like that it’s not about hitting every single your workouts.

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I am way too hard on myself as well. It should be fun!! (That’s what I keep telling myself.) But, fun for me is achieving goals!
I had an awesome salad with lettuce, sunflower seeds, cukes, peppers, boiled eggs and pickels. I put in a dollop of cottage cheese that I flavored with ranch dressing powder. Sounds kinda gross as I type it but it was deelish!
Still melting in the heat btw… ONLY hit 108 degrees today… (Last week was 117!)

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I’m more concerned with mileage over paces, but I know I do need to start paying more attention to pace and not log “junk” miles!

I have sweet potatoes, eggs and nuts for lunch. Random, I know!

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Literally LOL’d at you stretching in Target!!! I always wonder what people think as I massage my piriformis while standing in line at various stores.

I wanted to share this link with you for IT band stretches. The first one (half hanumanasana with externally rotated foot) is THE BEST! We sometimes do it in yoga class and I have to tell you, it’s the one stretch for me that really gets in there.

http://blog.walkjogrun.net/2013/06/17/yoga-poses-for-runners-it-band-stretches/

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I’m only OCD about my pace on certain workouts: track, tempo, long run.
We had a light rain for our morning run and it felt pretty nice. :)
Lunch: Caesar salad with grilled portobello mushroom on top.

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I m the rare runner that never looks at my watch for pace. I actually have a friend helping me learn to pace better and i m helping her with running by feel.

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It really depends on the day and my mood in regard to how much I worry about pace, etc.

My fav phrase is, “you’ve got this and you are strong!”

I ran to the gym, met my SIL, did a few sprints, then ran home. It was before the sun came up and it was already 77 degrees out! It is 108 right now, so no afternoon running because of air quality.

Lunch today was a chicken taco salad and the best chocolate cake ever!

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-I believe, I believe, I believe I can!
-Sundays run was 97% humidity..talk about gross.
-Lunch was spinach salad with blackberries/strawberries and raspberry vinaigrette.

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As I did my speedwork tonight (12 x .25 @ fast pace with 2:10 min rest between), you were in my head, and I kept pushing – THANK YOU! You are about a week ahead of me in training, and a heck of a lot faster!! I am just aiming for a sub-4 for my first.

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I have to remind myself of this often because I get SO frustrated when I don’t hit my paces. I have 800s first thing tomorrow, so hoping those go well!

That picture of the clouds is BEAUTIFUL!!

Whenever I’m tired in races or speed workouts, I always say, “Come on, baby doll!” I have no idea why I suddenly give myself a term of endearment, but I do…

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I am pretty crazy about my pace times. I get WAY too caught up in the thinking that if one day is “slow”, then any & all of my hard work is not working. You post today was very well timed because of the run I had on my schedule (4 x 1600). I am about 3 weeks away from my next half and I would really like to PR this course. My first 2 1600’s were at a pretty great pace (& felt really good), my last 2 were slower than I wanted but still felt good….and were still right at my half-marathon projected pace. Our mind is a very powerful tool and can take way too much control if we let it.

Keep up your hard work. You have amazing things coming to you in your future!!

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I haven’t been so concerned with my paces this training cycle. But I have been trying to push myself without over doing it and trying to really focus on strengthening myself.

I had a Dr.’s appointment after lunch and I was stressing about that so I ended up not really eating much. Had some yummy bacon rolls and some cottage cheese.

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My favorite phrase is the motivation quote: “I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who can’t run, what they would give to have this simple gift I take for granted, and I run harder for them.” I always tear up saying this phrase over and thinking about the disabled veterans in my family. But as tears run down my face, my legs seem to go faster.

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I love tracking my stats, but don’t do it as religiously as I should.

My favorite mantra to repeat is: you got this!

I had a crazy day at work today, so I needed lunch to be EASY. I ordered pizza and salad and just had it delivered.

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Brooke got a candy necklace?? I love candy necklaces!

I am no longer crazy about my pace or splits. I used to be, but now I’m older and mainly run really long races so only my finish time really matters to me. My very favorite phrase is ‘just believe’.

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Sorry I secretly stole your phone…muahhahahaha

You x 2 today —–> ultimate best ❤️

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Hi!
I just wanted to let you know that I think you are AMAZING!!! I have been reading your blog for a few months now and absolutely love it. I am 14 (15 on Sunday!) and started running almost a year ago. I am not fast (my fast is your easy pace :) ) but I still love it and am planning on signing up for a marathon as soon as possible!
You can TOTALLY run a sub 3 marathon – you go girl!!!
I’m of to do my ‘long’ run now of 10k :)
Sarah x

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I am definitely obsessed/motivated by numbers and paces. I turned off my Garmin in a strop on a run last week and just enjoyed the rest of the run rather than constantly checking my watch!

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One of my big issues is that I cannot judge my pace at all! Today I tried running 6 miles @ 8:15 and not one of them came in at that pace. My pace ranged between 8:08 and 8.35. I was using my Garmin, but that only highlighted that my pace for each mile actually ranged between 7:40 and 9:00. How do you achieve a consistent goal pace?

That’s not even getting to the difficulty of achieving a good pace! I’m still stuck trying to hold any single pace :)

My run this morning (in London) was chilly – I looked like a weirdo wearing a running vest and gloves, but the hands are the first to feel the cold with me. I am so ready for autumn running though.

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haha, I am always stopping to stretch in the middle of a store. My husband shakes his head and eases away.

Sometimes I’m anal about the numbers but why is 10.7 miles less legit than 11? It’s not an actual event.

Lunch was a smoothie. It’s hot and humid, I was in between finishing my workout and getting a massage. (It’s been a year – I was way overdue). I figured a smoothie wouldn’t lay in my stomach.

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Haha I love Brooke’s lip gloss pic!

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Janae! I just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for this post!
I read this when you first posted it and was like “yep I agree.” Then today my workout was mile repeats, and I just could not get myself to hit my paces. Usually I can stay strong with this workout, but not this time. It was so frustrating! I’m still kind of upset:) Later while I was eating breakfast I remembered this post and went back and read it and I will tell you that it changed my perspective so much. Anyways, thank you for writing this!:)

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ahh I can totally relate to this! I want to quit all the time but mind over matter usually am able to make it through. I did quit early last saturday track workout because the humidity was getting to me a little more than usual boo! can we please have beautiful fall weather stat!!!

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