Yes, it does! Training works! Do you believe that?
After my lyme disease, I basically had to start all over with running. I wasn't feeling so good because I had missed 3 months of training and several races that I REALLY wanted to run in. But I knew I wanted to get back to it and would put in any and all of the work required. I changed my training plan and started focusing on distance rather than speed so much. I needed to build back up my endurance.
I began training again in mid-September. I started feeling pretty good. Brady and I signed up to run the Y Turkey Trot in the beginning of November. Turns out it was the day after the cub scout sleepover at the Y. Not really a sleepover, an up-all-nighter. I was tired, so didn't put any expectations on myself. I was planning on walking a good portion. But about mile 1 1/2 or so, I started feeling pretty good. I finished at 33:39. My worst time, but considering I was up all night playing volleyball, climbing rock walls and listening to excited kids (plus not eating well), I was pretty happy. I was more happy that I just got to complete the race. That lyme disease kicked me in the butt and I really didn't know if I was ever going to have the energy again.
The weekend after that, I ran my first 10K. It was a last minute decision. I was there alone, but found someone I knew there who is a great runner. I was talking to her about it. She was running the 5K. Her name is Jinny. It was a beautiful run. On the trail, by a river, almost the entire time. It was chilly, but sunny. I just tried to keep my pace the entire run. Every time I looked at my watch, I was at the same pace. I couldn't believe it. I told Kip I anticipated 1:15-1:30 finish time. I came in at 1:04:36! Holy cow! I was so happy! Jinny was there at the finish line cheering me in. I thought it was so nice of her. I felt great. From that moment on, I knew I liked distance races and set in my mind to run a 1/2.
On Thanksgiving Day, Kip, Brady and I ran in a turkey trot (Brady begged us to do this one!). Brady took off very fast and I stayed at my pace and made Kip go and slow him down. He was mad, but I know he would not have the endurance at that pace to make the entire 5K. I was right and he knew it! I coached him the whole way and we had our best 5K times yet. Brady - 31:29, Me - 31:33, Kip 31:44. It was a great day!
Shortly after I signed up for a 1/2. I've been training for it since. I run about 4 days a week. 3 of those days I run 2-4 miles on those days, with some speed and hills thrown in and 1 of those days is my long run I run with Joanne. I am VERY disciplined about getting my runs in, plus I crosstrain with the bike or step class another 2 days. But it's working!
I'll give you 2 examples. First, on the second long run Joanne and I ran together, we ran 6.2 miles. It was a nice day, but our typically hilly route. We ran it in 1:11. It turned out to be an 11:27 pace. Fine for a long run. I wasn't disappointed. Last week, we ran 10.1 miles. It was a horrible windy day. Wind advisories were out. 40-50 mph wind gusts. And it was our hilly route (VERY hilly). We ran it in 1:54. The pace: 11:17! We took off 10 seconds per mile and the conditions were FAR worse! That is one example that training works. Second, yesterday I ran 3 miles. I came in at 30:09. I ran negative splits: 10:22, 10:15, 9:32. Had I gone .1 more to make a 5K, I would've beat my best 5K time by over 30 seconds!
I will continue to train the way I have for the past few months. I know it works. I have 3 weeks until my first half. Am I nervous? Yes! Excited? Yes! But I will complete it because I've trained for it and I know, training really works!