Although March was a very busy month at work I managed to stay on schedule with my training. My goal was to run 5K (3.1miles) two or three times a week and do a four mile (6.4K) run every Friday and I did this. I also recorded the temperatures before going out for my runs. On days when the temperature was above 85° F (30° C) I was tempted to stay at home, but I refused to use the weather as an excuse not to run.
Looking over the running data for March it appears that the temperature did not make a huge difference on my pace – I am pretty slow no matter what the weather conditions are. The average temperature for March was 85.7° F (30° C) and my average pace was 11:26 per mile. During the last week and a half when the mercury slipped above 90° F (32° C) I needed to walk more, but after these short walking pauses, I was able to increase my pace a little, so that my overall time remained between 35 and 36 minutes for 5K.
I know that April will be slightly hotter than March, but I am going to follow the same running schedule. Additionally, I would like to try to cover 5K in less than 35 minutes on a regular basis. This will not be easy, but I feel motivated enough to push myself a little harder to reach this goal.
In February my goal was to run at least three times a week without any pressure to meet time or distance goals. This is not easy because I tend to be competitive with myself, always trying to go a little faster or farther. So, I used the training option on my Garmin to make sure I didn’t go over 5K or 3 miles. I also allowed myself to walk when necessary. I turned off my watch as soon as I heard the alert without looking at the data. I only missed the alert once and somehow ended going a bit longer than planned.
Then for my second last run in February I decided to do an early morning run and increase the distance to four miles. The other outings are late afternoon runs after a day of work or weekend chores – grocery shopping, laundry, and housework. I didn’t look at my Garmin data until this morning to see how I did.
Overall, I seemed to be slower as the month progressed but I am very pleased with my four mile run on Friday. However, I can’t explain why my pace for my long run was considerably faster than the shorter ones. Perhaps the slower pace might have something to do with the increasing temperatures or additional work duties in the second half of the month. Additionally, the weather was much cooler so maybe I was able to go a bit faster without realizing this.
Now, I feel ready for March. I will continue with the same strategy – no time pressure, walking breaks when necessary and a 5K (3.1miles) run two or three times a week. The only difference will be a four mile (6.4K) run every Friday. I am also going to record the afternoon temperatures when I head out for my runs to see how this data impacts my pace. On the non-running days I will do 45 minutes of yoga, stretching, or swimming and if time permits I will do a brisk thirty minute walk in the evening.
February is here and I still have not set any goals for 2015. Last year I failed miserably with my New Year’s Resolutions and running goals. It was a tough year that saw little success and several setbacks. For every step forward I seemed to take two backwards.
The only event I participated in was the Muscat 10K around this time last year. Then in the summer I injured my leg and couldn’t train for several weeks and was unable to take part in any summer races. By late fall, after returning to Oman, I started to run again but lacked the necessary motivation to work out regularly. Basically, a few runs here and there but no real commitment.
Presently, my schedule is not ideal (split shifts) and most evenings after a long, exhausting day at work I am too tired to venture out for a run and opt for a long walk – so much easier than running. I can walk miles without aches and pains whereas running stretches my muscles, tires my legs and has me huffing and puffing. While walking I listen to stories and reports from NPR (National Public Radio) that I download at work and copy to my mp3 player. These informative reports keep me on top of what is happening in the United States and around the world. After listening to “Study: Running May Help You Live Longer” I realize that I need to move faster. Time to get back into running. Walking 90 minutes or longer every evening after work is good but running 30 to 45 minutes would be better.
So, my main goal for 2015 is to start running again. No more sitting around feeling tired and grumpy because I have a full workload and a less than ideal schedule. This is not an excuse to neglect my health and to give up an enjoyable activity.