Success in my training this week! Last week I was disheartened by my slow mile repeats; this week I ran better and I’m elated. Here’s the week in review:

Sunday: Off

Monday: Speed work. After a warm up at the track, Carol had us alternate between running one lap hard (at our one-mile trial pace–which for me is 8:50) and then a half lap slow for recovery. We did this for 25 minutes. It was a hard workout! Thanks coach Carol.

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Pace work. After a slow one-mile warm up, my goal was to repeat four (4) miles at my 10K pace (9:30) with a one minute recovery break between each mile. I can’t tell you why, but I felt much better this week than last! Mile 1 was 9:12; mile 2 was 9:17; mile 3 was 9:20; and mile 4 was 9:19. This was a huge confidence builder for me. I felt good–no nausea–even though my miles were significantly faster than the repeats I ran last Wednesday. My best guess about why this week was better is that I listened to music during the workout. Who really knows why some days feel great and some feel like crap? (If you DO know, don’t hold out on us. Tell us what’s up!) But I needed this success to assure me I’m making progress. Thanks, body. Next week for my pace work I’ll do two two-mile repeats at my 10K pace with a two minute break between them. It should be interesting to string the miles together and see if I can still keep up my goal speed.

Thursday: 3 slow miles.

Friday: Long run. 10.5 miles. I ran the first 7 with my friend Janna and the last 4.5 listening to TED Talks on my mp3 player.

Saturday: Off. I’ll be on a writing retreat, so I moved the long run to today and probably won’t get out for anything more than a walk tomorrow.

The way I’m approaching this training is to (minimally) get in speed work, pace work, and long runs. This week I’ll end up with three days off from running. This is different than I’ve trained before–which has always been primarily about increasing my mileage each week, rather than working on form and pace. It’s an experiment for me to be trying something new, to challenge myself to grow as a runner. And I feel good. I’ve dropped a couple of pounds (which isn’t necessarily a goal, but may help with speeding up my pace) and my body is feeling strong and, thus far, injury free. So, whew!

What about you? How did your week in training go? If you’re just getting started, what are your challenges and questions? You’re not alone; we’re all cheering for each other! Keep up the good work runner friends!