The Run That Finally Clicked


Manhattan Ferry Terminal

You know those runs you have where everything FINALLY feels like it’s coming together? All the miles you’ve put on your legs thank you with a great run? I had that yesterday. 

My training has been much better for the Brooklyn Half than it was for the D.C. Half, though that doesn’t take much, quite honestly.

Jess gave me an aggressive training plan, but I gave her an aggressive goal: 1:47. (My current PR is 1:50.) To be perfectly honest, that goal was only based on wanting to beat my boss, who’d just beat my PR. If I can do that, GREAT. If not, I’m just happy to PR. (Although she went from a 1:54 to a 1:47, so anything’s possible?)

The workouts Jess has been giving me are based on that time goal — my tempos have all been at 8:00 – 8:10 paces. It makes me nervous to think about trying to hold that pace for an hour and forty-something minutes, but I’m just trying to tell myself I’m etching that pace into my muscles so that they’ll know it well on race day.

YESTERDAY, though, my schedule had a tempo with two miles warm-up, 3 miles 7:45 – 8:00 (as in under race pace), 2 miles cool-down. Yikes. I hemmed and hawed and was nervous and finally just trotted out there. My Garmin takes forever to get satellites, so I usually start and let it pick up during my first mile and reset it after that. It requires more mental math: ok, so if I’m doing a total of 7, out-and-back, I need to turn around at 2.5 (which is really 3.5) and I can cool down at mile 4?

I took off and my easy warm-up miles were around an 8:58. Not “fast” but I was encouraged to see that my easy pace had dropped — it used to be more like 9:15-9:20. I tried to hold back a little to save all my energy for the tempo. Two miles in, I hit it. My phone hadn’t charged overnight so I was music-less for the first time in a while, but I don’t usually race with music so I knew it was good practice. 7:55, 8:00, 7:55. BAM. My cool-down felt like I was running through quicksand, but I chugged my way home and resisted all urges to collapse on my couch all day. I feel good about my race next week.

Have you had a game-changing run like this?

9 comments on “The Run That Finally Clicked

  1. Jillian

    That’s awesome! I love when that happens! My recent breakthrough was actually during the NJ Half Marathon a few weeks ago. It was my first race since having a baby and after a really rough winter — between the weather and an accident where I fell down a flight of stairs and ended up with a concussion and broken ribs (so embarrassing… I’m such a klutz). I went out just wanting to finish and hoping for a 1:55 since I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve been feeling really strong lately, but ended up busting out a 1:50:49 for a PR. I was stunned and feel so much more empowered now!

  2. Amanda @ Slimplify Life

    My game changing runs are usually preceded by endless carbs #allthepizza and a rest day the day before. But when it ‘clicks’ its basically euphoria, for runners. Good luck next week at the race!!!

  3. Katie

    Nice work!!! I’m thinking maybe I’ll get a coach sometime in the future. Usually Feb – April I kick up my training, but with my big race (and so far only race) scheduled for August I’ve been slacking. Now as people talk about taper starting and race days coming, I’m feeling super behind. My runs last week were painful, it was as if I had lead sneakers on. Last night my legs felt a little better, but I’m hoping it keeps improving so I can have a “it clicked” run soon!

  4. Gillian @ That's G

    I KNOW you can get that 1:47!!

    Funnily enough, my first half marathon ever was 1:57, and my second was 1:47, which was my PR for a long time. Looking forward to following along!

  5. Charlie

    Great job! I’m really scared to start Chicago training, and trying to hold FAST paces over long distances. I feel like I haven’t run properly in so so long!


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