Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ready to Run

My theory stands. Watching your mileage closely while you run does no good. You start anticipating every little milestone -- down to the tenth of a mile -- and eventually you've hit so many milestones that your brain tells you that you have run far enough.

Tuesday we went to the gym. Knowing we had a race coming up on Saturday, I decided to try to run at race speed and see how things went. I got through the first mile in about eight minutes. I couldn't keep the pace so I slowed down a bit for the second mile. But at about a mile and a half, my body crashed. I walked a bit, then ran only another half mile at my normal 9:30 pace. This was all on the 1/10 mile indoor track. You have to count laps, which means that you count every tenth of a mile. That means you are tracking 31 milestones to run 5k. That much mental work fools the body.

Today I mapped out a three-mile course through the neighborhood. I chose a path that I knew had a steep uphill in the middle, and a nice uphill grade toward the end -- and also some general ups and downs and flat stretches. I set out, just me and the road. No headphones today. No watch. I was thinking through something that I haven't been able to make a decision on, and I still didn't come up with anything during the run (but more to come on that later).

The first two miles went incredibly smooth. I hit a wall at about two and half, but pushed through it. Even doing a couple short tempo runs during the last half mile. As I got home, I ran to the window and peered in to see the clock. To my surprise, I finished in 24 minutes. That's the fastest three miles I've ever run. The pace that killed me in 1.5 miles on the track I was able to keep up for three miles on the road -- even with some good inclines to tackle. My milestones were the turns, rather than laps. Twelve turns total, but only twice could I see the next turn as I was making one. On the track, you always know exactly where the start line is, so it is always the anticipation game.

I am definitely ready for the race on Saturday. I am confident that I can beat my last 5k time. I just need to make sure not to be too overzealous about beating the time, or I may start out too quickly and burn myself out. I bought a ChampionChip when we signed up for the half marathon. I put it on my shoe before the run today. I had to try a couple different ways before I could get the laces as tight as I need them (I have skinny feet). I'm really not in the business of traipsing around the neighborhood showing off my chip, I just wanted to make sure it didn't bother me at all. As expected, I didn't even notice it.

We both put in miles today and hit a milestone. Two hundred miles total. At this point we both need to average over 11 miles per week for the remainder of the year to meet our goal. We are about where I expected us to be. We needed to average 10 miles a week over the year. I knew we'd start out below that and end above that. Right now we are right at a 10 mile per week pace. So I am still confident at this point that we will be knocking on the gate to Cinderella Castle prior to the big race.

1 comment:

caballerofan said...

A change of scenery is often a good thing. Best wishes on your race Saturday.

Great job on your neighborhood run.
My personal best 5k stands at 27.36I have not seen that since 06.