Sorry, no Friday Five today. I have another post ready to go and I feel like it is an important one.

One of the things that I am trying to work on this training cycle is to relax. Now, I know that I have been uptight about some pace work when I actually HAVE pace work, but as mentioned, I am also working on giving myself grace.

This is especially applicable on easy run days. Coach Jenn says easy runs should be AT LEAST 2 minutes per mile slower than 5K pace. My 5K PR is dead on 7:00/mile pace. That means generally, my easy days around around a 9/mile pace. But then there are times when I feel like my 5K time is out of date (it probably is) and so my runs are more around 8:40-8:50. And then, I wake up at 4 am often, and obviously my legs are not necessary ready to run at ALL at 4 am, so even 9s can be "not easy". As not easy defeats the purpose, well, I have to ignore my watch.

And lately because I have been putting my legs through the ringer on workouts, not to mention those 4 am wake up calls, plus a heavy load at work... I am wiped out on some days. Let's look at my run from Wednesday as an example. I had 8 miles, easy, on the schedule.

My alarm went off at 3:55. 8 miles easy is going to take me at least 1:12:00 (9 minute pace). And then when you add on 10 minutes to get ready (bathroom, dressed, outdoor when it is cold layers, etc), I am not going to be home until nearly 5:30, which is my drop dead time for letting the dogs out and starting my non-running morning routine (it is the time I get up when I am not running).

So let's see what this looks like at 4 am for real...
As  you can see, it starts SLOWLY... and by the end of 8 miles, my legs were feeling the way that they SHOULD feel during an easy run.

And so this is the lesson that I am trying to teach myself. It is OK that easy runs go like this. In fact, this is how easy runs are SUPPOSED to look. There is not a damn thing wrong with that.


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