Illinois Half-Marathon Training: Week 5

Well I’m still here guys. This week was ugly! As in I was short on my miles by a long shot and the runs that I did get in were awful. Yuck…. But it goes hand in hand with how gross the weather was here. We experienced some history breaking temps in central Illinois. Chicago was colder than the Antarctic…like holy cow! How does that even happen!?

On the coldest day of them all it was -50 out. They said that your dog could freeze to death in 4 minutes! So needless to say we didn’t leave the house. The day after that my gym was closed and I don’t have access to a treadmill. Which meant my first run of the week happened on a Thursday. That run was ROUGH. I could hardly keep my breathing in control and my body was just in pain all around. The gym had an awesome energy though so I think that’s what really kept me going!

One of my biggest mental game struggles is- my mind wandering. I have ADD baaaad. We didn’t find out that I was battling ADD until before I was in first grade, which according to my teachers was late. Everything is kind of a blur from back then because I refused to accept my learning disability. I do know that my teachers caught on to it before my doctors did. I remember sitting in a room by myself with a teacher while they asked me questions, showed me flash cards and wrote down my response as fast as they could. After that came the doctors appointment. The doctor recommended me going on medicine but I told him and my mom I’d just flush it all down the toilet. Follow that up by my mom and teachers deciding to make me repeat 1st grade.

“Make me” is exactly how I felt. I can’t find the words to describe to you how mean I was to my mom during this time. All my anger, embarrassment, and pain got taken out on her. Looking back on it all now, it makes me sad for putting her through so much. In the end, I owe her a huge thank you for making the best decision she could for my future. If it wasn’t for that extra year of schooling my school years would have been a disaster. You’re a wise women mom and I appreciate all the tough decisions you had to make. Any-who, back to my main point…see, I do get distracted easily!

ThatIMG_2309 cold Thursday, distractions were all over the place! I intentionally pick a treadmill that has no one on either side so that I can stay focused. Well on that day people had to pick the treadmills right next to me…just lovely. This ended up being a good and bad thing. By having people next to me I would get distracted by hearing their breathing and stressing that they would be watching me. This also worked as a motivator to see if I could outlast them on the treadmill and checking their stats to see if I could run faster. Which gave me more fight to finish my miles…even if I had to go at turtle pace.

I’ve also discovered that I have been running at a faster pace than I should be. Since beginning my training I have only had the opportunity of running outside twice. So finding my pace by what “feels good” has been more so just a guessing game by entering a speed into the treadmill. The first 4 weeks I was getting in my miles at 5.4-5.5mph. Which seemed right on the money for the most part ( averaging about a 11:45 mile). That was until I ran 5 miles. During that run I slowed down to between 4.9-5.2mph. If I would have kept up with the faster pace I would have never made the full distance. I have also found with the slower pace it doesn’t seem to cause as much pain to my knees…which is a huge win in my book!

If you are keeping track: next week I will be following Week 4 of the training plan I’m using. My tip for you this week: Don’t let a couple off days make you throw in the bag. You have put in the effort and now you have to follow through with your commitment! Tell someone about your goals and have them help hold you accountable. Once you tell someone you’ll feel more obligated to achieve them!

Truly Yours,

Jer ❤

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