Well another practice test done (#4 for those of you counting) and well maybe not woot. I seem to have hit a glass ceiling so to speak. My scores aren’t drastically improving the way I had hoped. Part of it is me: I am notorious for under-performing on standardized tests and maybe I’m not studying as efficiently as I could be. Part of it might be the tests themselves: I’ve heard that the Kaplan tests tend to run harder than what I’ll likely see on test day.
But not matter what it’s pretty damn frustrating. I feel like I’m putting in the work and effort and not being rewarded for it. Sure I have seen improvement but not enough to feel really good. I do have a new plan/strategy in place and hopefully I can make some progress in the next few days before I take another test.
I know some of you have commented on how frequently I’ve been taking the tests but, according to my syllabus, it’s not bad. Take a test, write down the topics that were troublesome, study those, repeat. In fact, it’s recommended at this stage in the course to take a test every other or every 2 days. I hoping to get another 2, or even 3, before I leave for vacation in a little over a week (because god knows no studying will get done on vacay) then come back with 2ish days before my test where I can review the worst topics and maybe take another full length. Good plan? We’ll see. I think I’ll be okay as, to follow up on my marathon training = studying analogy, I’m in monster month now then I need a taper.
Oh well. Enough study talk. Can you tell what my life has become lately?
The running part of my life has been a bit more encouraging. I have seen an improvement in my running which is nice. It’s kind of funny though because each run feels good but slightly monotonous. I suppose that’s why I like having a training plan: it forces me to change up my daily runs. Nowadays I just go. Which is fun in and of itself but not completely satisfying.
Case in point: Yesterday (Monday) I went for a 7 mile run. And I ran it in 58.18 minutes. Aka an 8:20 pace. And it felt so effortless. Great I suppose. I love it when I surprise myself and actually can think for a minute that I’m good at running. But because it was a really easy effort I felt a bit blase about it because it was just a run. Not that I’m belittling the run itself. But there’s no excitement at the moment. No “OMG I’m making progress” because I’m not really. At least not toward any goal.
Because there has been progress of sorts. As I wrote last time I had suspected that my weekly average pace was going to be faster than I’ve seen in recent weeks and I was right. Yes, I’ve seen faster paces on individual runs in the past but to have a week where the average is that? Quite honestly: it stuns me. I guess my legs bounced back faster than I thought they would. I’m going to wager that this upcoming week will be just as fast. In comparison:
- Pre-Philly week: 111.1 miles with an average pace of 8:43
- This past week was 56.4 miles with an average pace of 8:30.
Which puts me in a conundrum: racing. Clearly my body is primed for it. My life, however, is not. The next 3 weeks are going to be stressful, to say the least, and then I launch straight into my job. I know that hitting up a race is possible but the idea of finding one and, this is the most important part, placing something else into my calendar is a bit stressful. And more stress is not what I need.
But enough about me complaining. I do want to race a half marathon with Lacey in September as well as a 10k with her in October and likely will as I am wicked excited for it. But I just feel like I could smash a record now. Unfortunate timing. Story of my life.
Also unfortunate timing? My run today. Since the test takes 5ish hours clearly no morning run would happen. Meaning that I’m running now at the hottest part of the day. Bleh. At least it’s not the most humid part. Choices.
BUT that said I rocked it. But in the manner described above for yesterday’s run. I went for 8.5 miles at, get this, 8:15 pace! That is rocking fast but it didn’t feel like it. It could have been any number of factors, running at 1600 rather than earlier and thus having more food in my muscles, having 24+ hours between workouts or the fact that my mileage is decreasing. But I’m stoked about it. Not enough to be elated but enough to feel confident in my capabilities.
Which makes me think about racing more. Hahaha.
AND here’s another picture from Philly. What am I going to do when I run out of these?!