Saturday, February 21, 2009

A PR for the ER

 This past vacation week has been great fun. We stayed close to home but did a lot of different things. I've also enjoyed the opportunity to run outdoors every day and I've covered a lot of distance: 25 miles since last Sunday. I'm 56 days away from my 4-mile race and I'm confident that I can cover that distance at a credible pace. I'm feeling ready and what was once a comfortable buffer measured in months is now looking like an unnecessarily long gap that's making me a little impatient. I'm tempted to look for a local race between now and April to just get one under my belt.

One reason I'm feeling this way is that I reached a new distance milestone this morning, covering 5.26 miles in about 52 minutes (9:53/mi avg pace). This broke my previous distance record by about .8 miles. Although I was off my normal pace I was very pleased with the run. I struggled a little at the beginning (I'd expected that since the first half mile was up an incline) but quickly settled into a good stride and knew that I was in for a long run. One of my biggest de-motivators has been the adjacency to my house. As I get closer to home, near the end of my run, I usually begin to feel the struggle to finish.  I decided today that I'd double back a few times far enough away from my house that I wouldn't have an expectation that I was nearing the end. It worked. I was at least 2.5 miles from home at the 2.5 mile mark so I knew that I had to cover 5 miles unless I stopped or walked. And I never do either.

I was surprised by how well I felt when I reached my house. My pulse rate was slightly lower than average and although my legs felt tired I knew I was good for another mile if I had to run it. For the first time I understood how people can get through 10Ks, half-marathons and even full marathons. I can't do any of those but I understand a little more how conditioning prepares you to run for hours at a time without needing to stop.

I may take Sunday as a recovery day, either an easy run or light cross training. 4:00 AM Monday morning will come soon enough and I'll need to be ready for a fast 2 miles to start my workday.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent!! Congratulations!! If you're ready to race, I say go for it -- running a 5K would be so much fun, especially since you're already running that distance regularly! Tons of events are scheduled around here for March so I'm sure you can find something near you...besides, you'll probably get a t-shirt (one more day of no laundry in my book!)...

    BTW, when I first glanced at your post, I thought you'd had a public relations incident in an emergency room. Tells you where MY brain has been lately - work, work, work! :-)

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  2. That's pretty funny. I expected to need a trip to the ER after the run but I actually felt pretty good when I finished.

    Thanks for the encouragement on racing. Do you think you'll be recovered in time for your upcoming race?

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