Called out

You may remember last week, or maybe it was the week before, that I wrote a post about Race Pace. I was completely confused about what pace I should be running my training runs at. If you don’t remember, or you didn’t read it, you can read it here. I did get some responses from blog friends, and I got one response from the running group guru.

He totally called me out, but in the nicest, best way possible. This is what he had to say to me:

Jena, in the “because I care” department, I am pretty direct. You do not train very well given the natural running talent that you posesses. You probably are not aware how few women as a percentage of all female runners can break 2:00:00 in a half marathon like you can. If you continue to desire improved race performance mixed in with the “fun factor” than you will need to adjust in at least 3 ways over time. First off, 850 miles as a goal for the calender year is woefully low. 17 miles average per week is not enough for someone like you. (but if work demands, stresses and pressures are high then maybe that’s ok for now). Secondly, assuming your health is good, you absolutely should be incorporating an interval workout once a week. Many of our Strider ladies who join our Tuesday/Thursday training runs have improved their half marathon times from 2:10 to 1:55 in one year and their Gasparilla 15k times from 1:30 to 1:20. Thirdly, your weekend long run pace should not match your race day goal pace for the entire run.


Well then.

I got served.

When I think of a fast runner, I think of a lot of runners, but I’m not one of them. I’m a mediocre runner at best.

“You probably are not aware how few women as a percentage of all female runners can break 2:00:00 in a half marathon like you can”-  I keep coming back to this sentence in his comment….

Please don’t flame me, but up until this comment I really, truly, honestly did not think that a sub2 half was all that spectacular. Maybe I should stop reading the blogs of really fast runners, because I feel…what’s the word, what’s the word?  I don’t know what the word is that I want to use right now, but I see other female runners coming in at the 1:30’s and think 1:57:50 (which is my first half time) is not really all that spectacular.

This is not my attempt at getting my readers to say, “Oh, you are fast.. you are this, you are that..” It’s not. I’m just giving you a peek inside the way my brain operates.

So back to what David said.. I went and looked up the results of the first half-marathon that I ran. I wanted to see how many of the females came in under 2 hours. There were a total of 360 female runners, and 98 of them came in under 2 hrs.

I also looked up the results for the Women’s Half-Marathon (where I did not come in under 2 hrs…thank you lack of training).. Out of 4746 runners (I think the majority were women) 574 came in under 2 hrs.

“First off, 850 miles as a goal for the calender year is woefully low. 17 miles average per week is not enough for someone like you”

Clearly I got called out multiple times in the same comment and I’m okay with that. Sometimes we just need someone to tell us like it is and put us in our place. WAH! Here is the reason I put 850 miles. Uh, I don’t like failure. Last year I set a goal of 1000 miles, and I was painfully short. Granted, we built a house, we moved, womp womp womp… I had less then enough time to run last year. I don’t plan on changing jobs, and I don’t plan on moving. School is over this month. I have a lot more time to run but I can’t set myself up for failure.  If I say 850 miles, and I run 1000, then I win, YAY! If I say 1000 and I run 850 then I fail. WAHH!

If you’ve read my 2011 goals then you know that one of my goals was to actually train harder this year. Uhhh, I guess you could say I’m not really doing that, huh? Training harder would involve running more then 3 days a week, and actually incorporating a speed workout or two into my training.

I am running Gasparilla in 12 days (eek!) I am confident that I can maintain a pace that will allow me to PR. However, my March half marathon is a little more than a month away and I’m not feeling so confident. Yesterday’s 12 miler put a little damper on my confidence.

David is right, if I want to be able to break that 2:00 mark once again, I need to get serious about training and quit messing around. My 2nd half marathon was no where near as easy (uh, and I use the word easy loosely{is that spelled right?} , it was no where near easy) as my 1st half. I was a lot more prepared for my first, then my 2nd.

I need to run a sub 2 half..for my sanity. I will be sorely disappointed in myself if I don’t run a sub2, because I know I can do it.

I suppose I should thank David for totally calling me out. So, THANKS DAVID!

I’m working on a new revised training schedule for the remainder of the time before my half on March 20th.

Happy Valentines Day, Y’all


5 thoughts on “Called out

  1. Jena-
    Before you get to bogged down on those “other female” runners keep something in mind…. You have only been running for how long? You didnt do this stuff all your life and from the little I know about you there wasnt much physical demand for much of anything you did as a child. (I mean that in the nicest way possible..,im just saying its not like you did competition level sports growing up) so with those observations made let me say I am still SO PROUD of you! You picked a “Sport” that not only freaks many people out but most wont even attempt. You have put your time, money, energy and heart into your sport and are doing FANTASTIC!!!!! That was so awesome for David to speak boldly, take it as encouragement. He thinks youre fast, he thinks you can do 1,000 miles… Use him “Calling you out” like a personal trainer daring you to do it! Best of luck in your upcoming marathons….

    • Thanks for your support Tiffany. I did not intend for this post to come off as I am whining about being called out by David. I appreciate his honesty 100%. I definitely take it as a challenge to step-up my game. I did not intend to sound like I was beating myself up over his comment. I’ve been thinking about it since last week and I’ve been thinking about how I can step up my game, and improve my speed.

      You are correct that I’ve only been running for a short amount of time, about a year and a half. I also know that I am “speedy” for someone whose only been running for such a short period of time, and for someone who otherwise did nothing physical… I played softball until 9th grade, but that’s about it..

      Also, thanks for commenting. It’s cool to see who reads my blog. I only know who reads by comments that are left 🙂

  2. I have nothing really substantial to add other than I think you’re very fast. Most females can’t run at your pace and you’re coming in at the top in your races. That’s a huge accomplishment and you’re an awesome runner – something A LOT of people will never be able to say in their life. I’m incredibly happy jealous for you 🙂

  3. I think I’m in the same mindset as you – I don’t think a sub 2 hr half marathon is super amazing. I’m not trying to discredit anyone who trained really hard and was ecstatic to finish in less than 2 hours (this is my current goal…my current half PR is 2:03, I have no room to judge anyone here) but I read a lot of blogs written by speedy fast races. I may never be that fast but in a little way I do compare myself to them. So I completely see where you are coming from there – especially with your first half being 1:57!

    Also, I’m learning myself that I definitely trained harder for my first half marathon. At that time a 13.1 mile race was pretty terrifying! I was training hard because I was afraid I wouldn’t make the distance. Now that I know I can go 13.1 (and 26.2…painfully) I look at the distance differently. I know I can cover the distance and I’m having a hard time pushing myself for a faster pace.

    Not much advice here – but I know exactly where you are coming from…just thought I’d toss that out there! 🙂

  4. You will run a sub two hour half marathon. You will! Forget that bs about starting out slow. Push yourself as hard as you know you can. You will only be satisfied if you do that. I have improved my half PR by 10 minutes in my last two races and it is from 1. more training 2. speed drills (very few, but I learned how fast I can actually run doing them) 3. pushing myself in my races. And I think #3 is the most important. In my first few races I thought I was pushing myself, but I was only pushing myself physically, not mentally. I thought that if my legs were hurting and I was getting side cramps I was running my hardest. That certainly is not true. I also thought, like you, that sub 2 hours was good but not great. But it is awesome! You are way ahead of the pack if you can run a half marathon in under 2 hours. You can do even better though. I know it!

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