Comfort zones

I cannot wait for the weekend to come. The past few weekends have been packed with many commitments that happened to all fall on the same weekends, back to back to back…bahh. Although they were great events, I was wiped out!! As a result, I didn’t get my scheduled long run in for the week (hmm…sounds like the previous weekend!) so decided to do it on Tuesday.

I set out for 12 miles on the same trail I was on for the 11 miler last weekend. I have had a couple weeks with a lack of running mojo so today’s objective was to just beast out the run. In the grand scheme of things, I do not suggest this for long runs. In fact, they are meant to be at 20 sec slower per mile (according to my training plan) than my half marathon pace. Instead, yesterday I set out to move at a slightly challenging pace that I felt I could hold for a good chunk of the run, then slow the pace if I needed to.

This “plan” worked out pretty well as I held a 9:30 pace for the first 5 miles. At mile 5, I took a Gu. Mile 6-8 were slowed to about a 9:45, taking half a Gu at 8.0 and finishing the rest at 10. Miles 8-12 hovered at a 10. The overall pace was a 9:53 min/mile for those 12 miles. Surprisingly, this is my best ‘long run’ I have had to date. And I needed every mile of it to bring my spirits back up to where they belong 🙂

I had read a fellow blogger’s reflection about a recent disappointing race performance and connecting it to the dip in intensity in workouts. I am not saying that I should go out and use my long runs as an extended tempo run. That’s the purpose of those tempos.

However, it makes me think about that “comfort zone” of a number of miles or pace or time that I stick to without digging deep and pushing just a little bit more in each run. I wonder how often I talk myself into compromising my ability and the effort I place into training runs. (this statement can be applied to things in life besides running…insert “friendships, career, school, life”  – still works)

What is your comfort zone with running? What has taken you out of your comfort zone and what was the result?

I will keep this little pep-talk in mind when I set out for my runs and races. Speaking of comfort zones, there are a couple of decisions being made where some serious steps outside of my comfort zones are being made. A possible source of stress? Heck yes.

Today was spent doing a circuit interval at the gym. I am pretty proud that I have stuck to this for the past three weeks. Note to self: do the interval at least twice a week…c’mon.

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5 Responses to Comfort zones

  1. Glad you had a great run, that is a pretty consistent pace from start to finish, even if you slowed down a bit – very strong!

    See you on Sunday!

  2. d.a.r. says:

    Awesome run!!!

  3. gavrielski says:

    This sounds like such a great, inspiring run, and I’m so glad you pushed through it and, hopefully, found your “running mojo” again! I also had a run today that took me out of my comfort zone. I’ve been experimenting with double-digit runs, and today I tried an ambitious (overly so?!) 10-mile train run in Marin. It was a totally life-changing experience for me. It took me out of my comfort zone and brought me to a whole new place with my running. Good for you for expanding yours–it’s never too late! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Taking it up a notch | Gavi gets going!

  5. jeri says:

    great job on an awesome long run. A great run really leaves you on cloud 9, right? 😀

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