Answer: they'll tell you.
I'm linking up with the Weekly Run Down, please head over to Kim and Deborah to check it out.
My goal the week after a half marathon is to run as much or as little as I want to. Oh wait, that's my goal every week, but seriously, I do cut back on mileage. I ran 8 miles the week after my first half, 11 miles the week after my 2nd half, and 10 miles the week after my 3rd half.
This week after half marathon #4: 20.75 miles, two weight workouts, and two OMG's.
Monday: I've taken 3 days off running with each of my previous half marathons, and Monday was 2 days out. I felt pretty good and seriously thought about running, but as I went through my weight workout, my legs told me "nah, slow your roll, it'll be there tomorrow".
Tuesday: my legs were right. Now that it was tomorrow, running was still there and I did an easy 3.25 miles at an 11:55 pace. Usually I don't call out paces for everyday runs here (that's what Instragram is for), but anything under 12:xx is always cause for celebration and spoiler, I'm setting the context for what happened next.
Wednesday: I set out for another easy 3.25 miles and that's when the OMG happened. After the first half mile I didn't feel particularly great, and tried to distract myself by increasing my cadence. After about 0.0001 seconds my head went to runners land and I could not tell you anything that happened between then and the time my watch beeped for the first mile. I glanced down and saw and 11:12 pace, which isn't impossible but it's pretty fast for me so yay. I continued on and took a peak half a mile later...10:45??? That's faster than my 10k pace, I just don't see 10:xx outside of speed work or races. I continued on at the same effort, not trying to bust a gut but also not taking it easy and held the pace for the 2nd mile. And then pulled off an even faster mile 3 and yes I pushed it for the final quarter mile.
Thursday: I was torn between doing another short run and taking a rest day, by a narrow margin I decided that a rest day was in order.
Friday: Two things happened. I hit the weights first thing, and it's no secret that I only do weights because I'm "supposed to" (a.k.a I know I will get injured if I don't), it's not where my passion lies. But I had a great weight workout. And then I laced up for another easy, short run and....OH SNAP IT HAPPENED AGAIN! I swear to you that I tried to slow down for mile 2. Mile 4? Ok, by then I was pushing to show off but it wasn't an all out effort, which is what it normally takes to run that pace.
I always say that these weekly recaps are chapters. The rest of the book hasn't been written so there's no way to tell what's coming next in the story. Am I finally getting faster or is this just a fluke? There's no way to tell in the grand scheme of things but I very much enjoyed seeing not one but two 10:xx paced runs this week. Will the speed continue? Tune in next week to find out. Better yet, tune in six months from now to find out.
Saturday: I was craving a long run like nobody's business, so I went out and got 10 miles. I did not monitor my pace during the run and I deliberately kept it easy. After mile 8 things got very hard, and I probably should have called it but I kept going. 11:54 for the run, and strangely even though I was dead on my feet I was able to pull off an 11:30 for the final mile.
Now that I've had a week to think about it, my current plan is to do another virtual half in mid May, on the weekend of the Big City marathon. I want to take advantage of the gorgeous spring weather to keep my distance up (hey weather, that's a hint to get gorgeous instead of being cold all the time) and to stick to my original plan of running two half marathons this spring.