Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

Humbling Training, a 10K and Miles for Memories Challenge Update

on September 21, 2014

I am two weeks out from my next half marathon.  For all you “regular basis” half marathon runners that would be no biggie.  But the thing is I haven’t run a half marathon since November of last year! EEEK!   I took most of 2014 off from half marathon training and races.  My family schedule just didn’t allow it.

For those who follow me regularly you know that didn’t mean I just stopped working out.  Au contraire mon freer.  Although my running has consisted of mostly HIIT training, I also did Body Beast, Les Mills Pump and a bunch of other wonderfully sweaty stuff.  🙂  It wasn’t about falling off the healthy wagon, it was about changing things up a bit and finding my happy pace in this season of life.

Then about 11 weeks ago I decided to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  As many of you may know my Mom was diagnosed with early onset about 4 years ago and has taken a big downward turn the past 6 months.  I thought about different ways to get others interested in supporting me.  I felt like I could do more than just the walk itself.  Low and behold I found out that just a week before my local Walk, there’s a half marathon I had been eyeing the past few years.  Perfect timing.  And from there was born my walk/run challenge.  Which I have affectionately named as Miles for Memories.

Miles for Memories

This time around I have been using a new training plan for my half.  (and I’ll admit it’s not the most popular one on the block.)  I decided to train by heart rate rather than pace.  SAY WHAT?!


Now remember peeps I am coming back to 13.1 from focusing on  strength and HIIT training and very little running and zero distance running.  I really, really needed to work on my aerobic base.  Heart Rate based training seemed like the best option for me.  More on that coming soon in a future blog.   Let’s just say that this kind of training can be very humbling.  Most people tend to train in their anaerobic zone rather than their aerobic zone.  This plan builds you from your aerobic base up.  Again can you say humbling and I now refer to it as “Ego-Check Training”  😉

I have completed 8 of my 11 weeks of training based on heart rate.  It’s going well and I am starting to reap the true benefits (sadly no it’s not a fast process)  My long runs (in fact most runs) are run at a very “easy” aerobic zone pace which has sometimes equated to  frustration and self doubt.  With my self confidence waining, Thursday I decided to sign up for a local 10k which was on Saturday.

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I needed to run a race with the goal of running at my own comfortable pace.  My current HAPPY PACE, not my last half marathon happy pace, not my training pace, not my PR pace but whatever felt right for me that day.

I am proud to say I was able to do just that.  I ran comfortably for the full 10K.  In fact I didn’t look at my heart rate once even though I did wear my monitor.  (The whole idea is that eventually you should be able to run by feel and know what zone you are in, I believe I did that.)  Could I have given a bit more on the second half of the race….probably but at least now I feel way more mentally prepared for the half.  In fact I got a wonderful complement during mile 5 from a woman (she and I had been pacing each other for about a mile or so prior)  She said to me that my running form made me look like I run on air!  That was the best compliment I could have heard that day, and probably ever, from another runner.  I thanked her and cranked it up for the last half mile or so.  She has no idea how much that meant to me.  It reassured me that I was running in my zone, at my pace and everything was just how it should have been……HAPPY.

So now I am just short of two weeks out from the Half I choose to honor my Mom.  I have my ego in check, my zone in check and I can’t wait to make her proud.

Would love to hear from you!