The Present

You now have the background of how I got started, so thanks to the magic of time travel I can give you an update of where I am now. I have now been running for about 1 year and 9 months, and my times have significantly dropped thanks to some very ambitious goals that kept me consistent, such as trying to go from 57:00 10k to sub-40 in 8 months.

During that period, my training went from about 15mpw to 40mpw in a very short time. I was pretty lucky I didn’t get injured. However, holding this higher mileage was probably the thing that did the most for me at the time. I was also doing longer intervals throughout that period – 5-6x1000m at 10k goal pace – and would occasionally add some fartleks to some runs. That was about a year ago. I didn’t make my goal (ended up with 40:49), but I progressed a lot.

After that, I decided to try my luck at a half marathon. What better goal to try for than another of the big barriers (to me, these barriers to the amateur runner are: sub-20 5k, sub-40 10k, and sub-90 half). So 6 months out from the race, I decided to go for sub-90 in the half. I upped my mileage to about 45mpw and started adding in tempo runs. I tried doing Daniels’ 5-15k plan, but it ended up being too much and I could feel like I was treading the edge of injury. This ambitious goal was successful this time, and I clocked in at 1:29:39. However, a weak glute and some improper shoes had done some damage, and I came down with a case of ITBS.

After several months of lowered mileage and still no progress, I went to the physical therapist. She set me straight with some stretches and some strengthening exercises, and after three months of ITBS I was free to train hard again. My first race back was piss poor: an 8k in about 32:5x, which was definitely a setback, but I was determined to get back into it for my favourite 10k (the one I completed last year in 40:49). I jumped back into high mileage, hitting 50+mpw consistently, and also joined a local running club that has some pretty impressive runners in its membership.

The singlet of the Prairie Inn Harriers, my club.

The singlet of the Prairie Inn Harriers, my club.

My times started to drop and I felt great. I raced in a local 5k to determine fitness and I had a massive 57 second PR, clocking in at 19:03. Being so close to sub-19 was disappointing, but it was good to see how far I came.

So with just over a month of training remaining till the 10k, I hiked my mileage up again – hitting 60 miles one week and maintaining 55 for the others. The day of my 10k came, and I had the very ambitious goal where if everything went right I would go for sub-38. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty poor and on the back half of the course we were hit with strong headwinds. I will post my race report later, but my final result was 38:49 – exactly two minutes faster than one year before. While I didn’t make my super ambitious goal, I was still pretty happy with the result.

So that’s where I am now: a sub-39 10k’er with a VDOT of 54. This weekend I have a 5000m race, which is part of a larger track series. I am hoping to go low-18s and knock my VDOT up to 55. Other than this series and a Tough Mudder, I will mostly be training for the same half I did last year, this time with a goal of sub-85. To train for this I plan on completing the famous Summer of Malmo, and I most certainly will be blogging about that (something that seems to be lacking on the internet).

If this sort of thing interests you, I encourage you to follow my blog, like the posts, and share it with your friends!

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