A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Unexpected Speed

After taking two full days off of all exercising (no running, no strength training, no aerobics class) I was itching to get back out there. I had to miss running at lunch on Thursday due to too many meetings, though. So, instead of trying to cram in a run and a strength workout I decided just to run after work. The cold, damp weather wasn't making me too enthusiastic about it but at least it wasn't actively raining.

I put on capris, a tank top, and a long sleeved shirt and headed out the door. The wind whipping through my shirt made me re-think my layering strategy but in less than a mile I was perfectly fine. My goal was to do between 3 and 4...or possibly 4.5 miles depending on how I felt. The other goal was to do it at half-marathon pace.

Except as always seems to happen when I take a few days off, I was ZOOMING. Oh man, it was crazy. It felt so good run and my legs were just doing their own thing. My lungs felt clear and it wasn't even until mile 3ish that I started hacking up the occasional bit of phlegm.

Aside: I really need to learn how to spit properly. Coughing up goo and having to swallow it back down almost made me choke a few times.

I did my usual 2 miles and then decided to go home a slightly different way. I found a new park to cut through and I only had to stop for traffic a few times. However, running this particular route at 6:30 PM means lots of dodging traffic. From now on I think I'll leave this one for when I need to do a short run early on a weekend.

I glanced at my Garmin when it would beep for the miles but none of the times really registered. Instead, I would look at it every now and then for an idea of my average pace. Which, as it turned out, was definitely faster than half marathon pace. Hmmm.

In fact, not including the pauses for traffic, here are my splits for a total of 4.71 miles:

Mile 1 - 8:58
Mile 2 - 8:42
Mile 3 - 8:31
Mile 4 - 8:21
.71 - 6:16

Holy negative splits, Batman! Of course, when you add in the traffic stops then they aren't quite so negative, but, as you'll see, they were all definitely under half marathon pace (9:09). And the entire run I felt GOOOOD.

If that's what having the hacking crud and taking two full days off does for me I'm really going to have to remember that before the race! Phew!

Another interesting factoid about this run is that while my form felt really good, I could definitely feel the fatigue in my shoulders and my glutes. Even today my glutes and quads are a little sore. That doesn't usually happen to me. I guess I really am doing something to my form.

Anyway, I hope this bodes well for my 5K on Sunday. We'll see!

Something else amusing: As I was coming down my street to finish my run Jason was walking home from the train. We arrived in front of the steps to our house at the exact same time.


Route:--Elev. Avg:626 ft
Location:Forest Park, ILElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:04/08/10Up/Downhill: [+95/-95]
Time:06:19 PMDifficulty:2.3 / 5.0
 40 F temp; 64% humidity
 40 F heat index; winds NW 3

Distance: 4.71 miles
Speed:6.9 mph
Pace:8' 40 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
18' 57+0' 176.7-0.2+4 ft
28' 42+0' 026.9-0.0+10 ft
38' 34-0' 067.0+0.1-3 ft
48' 49+0' 096.8-0.1-6 ft
end8' 49+0' 096.8-0.1-3 ft
Versus average of 8' 40 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com


kilax said...

Awesome run! Do you think you will take a few days off before the half marathon? That does seem like a good idea ;)

kristen said...

Holy smokes. I'm not gonna beat myself up next time I miss a couple of workouts! nice!

Jessica (Bayjb) said...

Nice job! I love that feeling of your first workout after taking a few days off. I'm always itching to get back out there too!

Anonymous said...

Wahoooo - that is awesome! Look at those negative splits....they couldn't be any more perfect! It's amazing how we can feel so refreshed after a couple of days off, right?

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