Well, we ran a race last weekend. I've done a lot of distance running and triathlon-ing, and I love it. You pick a pace you can maintain forever, and although you are putting out effort, there is a trance-like place you get into, and you completely relax. It's wonderful.
However, my steady pace has gotten steadily slower over the last few years, so I decided to do something different this spring. I've been training for speed. I picked the Rex Lee Run 5k, and grabbed an advance training plan from Hal Higdon online for 12 weeks. I don't think I had the whole 12 when I decided to start it, and I had a few days of heavy lifting during the week where I didn't want to run too. So. What was probably an ideal plan for someone who follows directions turned into a less successful scenario.
With a long distance race, I found if I did one short run and one long run a week (cross training the other days of course) it was enough to get me to a successful finish, meaning, I could finish! But when I wanted a certain time, I should have done more than 3 runs a week. I did a sprint workout, a fast-ish 5k distance, and a long "miles under your toes" run.
Still I made progress. I took 2 1/2 minutes off of my average mile pace, and finished 4th in my division. Poor Tia had a good learning experience. That girl is usually much much faster than I, but ate breakfast too late and ended up cramping the whole time. Her cramped, handicapped pace was my race pace, and OH it was uncomfortable! This wasn't the zen-like experience I've gotten used to in long races. But the standard workout mantra applied here --I was happy when it was done.