Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Favorite runs

Today's run was one of my favorite workouts. It was a 10 mile run with a one mile warm up, then eight miles at (or slightly faster than) goal marathon pace (7:15), then a one mile cool down. My splits today were 8:35, 7:08, 7:02, 7:05, 7:12, 7:07, 7:03, 7:08, 6:57, 8:10, and then I did 5x100m strides. My legs feel pretty dang good, especially considering I am in the middle of an 85 mile week.

Although seeing this run on the schedule used to make me nervous, it is now one of my favorites. I know I can hit the splits fairly easily, and running chunks of marathon paced miles is a big confidence booster for me. Confidence is a good thing!  (My 20 miler for Friday has four miles at 7:15 and then four miles at 7:00 at the end. THAT will be a decent workout for sure.)

I do also enjoy the challenge of track workouts and long runs. There is nothing like the feeling of finishing the last interval of a tough track workout or finally slowing to walk at the end of a long run. Victory! :) In my quest to continue to improve, I do look forward to the runs that scare me a little bit... the ones that I see on the schedule and get a little nervous about... the ones that leave me wondering if I can "hit" all the splits and run the workout as I am supposed to... the ones that I know are going to hurt a little more than most. Those are the runs that I think make the most improvement physically and mentally, and they are the most fun to celebrate when I am done. :)

Of course the easy/recovery runs can be enjoyable too. My favorite easy/recovery runs are the ones I get to run with Josh, Jenny, or the running club. Being able to chat away with people makes the miles go by quickly and I think it's fun to talk to someone while I am running easy. Jenny and I have started running up the canyon across the street again these last two weeks. It is dirt roads and gorgeous scenery, and the monster hills make you not even care about your pace going up/in, and it is all sorts of fun to run out (downhill!) of the canyon. Yesterday we made it four miles up and into the canyon before we hit a place where a snow avalanche from the winter was still blocking the road and we had to turn around. It takes that much snow a LONG time to melt.

I know it is the variety of different runs that lead to improvement as a runner and I know every run has a purpose, so I do try to embrace and enjoy whatever run I have on any given day. 

I have to say though that I am not much of a trail runner. I enjoy the canyon runs with Jenny, but trail running (as uncool as this probably makes me to admit) just isn't my favorite. I am a road runner. I love running on the roads. I love running fast on the roads. I love road racing. The trails are fun to mix it up once and awhile, but road running and racing is what I really love.

How about you? What are your favorite types of training runs? Are there any that you dread? Do you love running the roads or are you a trail runner at heart?


15 comments:

Teamarcia said...

I'll live vicariously thru you with all these fantastic paces and mega miles! I do love me some speedwork. There is nothing quite as satisfying as finishing up a workout you weren't quite sure you could do. :)

Julia said...

i am still exploring the type of runner i may be and the types of runs i enjoy. i think it also may change over time. but last year i was really enjoying getting faster until i hit a point where i felt like it was going to take speed work to keep getting faster. i tried it for a bit but felt like burned out quickly and i never really enjoyed it. the trails are very new to me so we will still see what comes of it but they are challenging in a way that i never imagined and I cant get enough of that challenge. i absolutely love them and each trail run is making me think i am starting to discover my "niche" as a runner. i guess time will tell but im really loving the new adventure:)

very impressive tempo dear friend! im beyond excited for you to dominate UV!

Valorie D said...

My favorite runs are the ones I finish when I wasn't sure I could.

Mark Matthews said...

I know you were smiling when you nailed that last 6:58. I love an interval workout as well, mile intervals or a ten mile marathon pace run are my favorite, something challenging where I can measure on the watch and do the internal holler out louds when I read my splits. Of course, I do those less and less as my body revolts.

Jen@runfortheboys said...

Great job today! I'm a road runner too...have tried the trails but they aren't my thing. I love a run when I'm surprised at how well I do and I really love when I dig deep and see intervals through. Nothing beats the final kick in a good run. My least favorite runs are those that come after near perfect runs, because I somehow expect they won't compare or be as good. Gotta work on that because sometimes I think I sabotage myself!

Again, way to rock your run today! That 20 miler is yours for the taking (your pace is insane to me but you will rock that too)!

lisa said...

They both have their "place", but trail runing is a spiritual experience for me. It's my Saturday "church". :) It's where I feel the most like me..there's nothing better than climbing killer hills and then leaping over rocks running downhill. I often shout out, "whoo hooo!" :)

The Unexpected Runner said...

I run both road & trail, but my happiest runs are on the trail. Maybe it's because the trail embraces the slow runner? When I'm on the trail I feel strong, free & maybe just a little bit bada$$

Elly said...

I love trail running - something about being out in nature makes me feel so at peace with everything.

Last week I took a group of students on a school camp to our snowy area (no snow yet though!) and there was a running track. I loved getting up early and doing a sunrise track workout in the cold with the mountains in the background and wide open spaces around the track. There was even a family of kangaroos watching me!

Elly said...

I love trail running - something about being out in nature makes me feel so at peace with everything.

Last week I took a group of students on a school camp to our snowy area (no snow yet though!) and there was a running track. I loved getting up early and doing a sunrise track workout in the cold with the mountains in the background and wide open spaces around the track. There was even a family of kangaroos watching me!

Gracie said...

I love a marathon pace 10 miler! I used to do this a lot but I've gotten out of the habit. It's a fantastic workout though.

coach dion said...

I love the trails, and for the most part I can enter a ran and run along just enjoying myself and end up doing really well... I love weaving along mountain single tracks and I bet that snow avalanche wouldn't have stopped me!!!

Christina said...

I am always wow'd to read your splits! Way to go! Regarding trails, I'm with you, I prefer road running. I like the scenery of a trail run, but I don't like the change under my feet and am always worried for a twisting ankle. I love being on the road when I get into a stretch where I even forget I'm running for a while and tune out. It happens when I get a solid road with no concerns for bumps along the way. Perhaps that means we both would have enjoyed track in high school? ;-)

Yolanda said...

Erin, Kuddos on your runs. For me, I much prefer road runs and road racing. I live in the country so I am able to mixup my surface every mile, how cool is that? Every run is dirt and then asphalt, for a mile each on one of my routes. No matter what I end start and end with one mile of dirt.

I also enjoy seeing what my body will respond to when it comes to speed work. Hills are a killer but then I am happy when I've finished and been able to run the hills. :-)

Jill said...

I think when you do so well in road races, it's really hard to hit the trails and find your pace slow to a crawl. But as I age and the times on the road are slowing considerably, I'm loving the trails. I've done the Pikes Peak Marathon a few times and there is nothing I've done more rewarding off all the 18 marathons I've done as that one. Maybe one day you will enjoy the trails more, if you tire of the road. It's hard to be both: a roadie and a trail runner.

I love how much you love to push yourself with these tough runs. I know they're going to pay off big time for you!! Keep being strong, girl!!

xo

Terzah said...

I think I'm a trail girl at heart (talking to Kathleen on Monday reminded me of this), but for now I'm happy to enjoy the roads, too. It's not like the views from our roads here aren't beautiful as well!