Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bonus miles

I'm home from work today, which gave me an opportunity to run longer than I usually do on a weekday. It may be the full moon, the atmospheric pressure, a cold or an allergy but I woke up feeling tired, weak and headachy. I announced last night that I'd do my morning run outside at 6:15 AM (celebrating the fact that there's now good light at that time) but that was over ambitious and I didn't actually set out until after 8:00 having had more than a few of cups of coffee.

I am in the narrow part of my training cycle and I want to put in as many miles as I can before I go into my 'quiet period' two days before my race. I've had a few recent conversations with other, more experienced, runners and they have kindly provided guidance in terms of preparation for the event. What they don't say (because they're nice) is "Four miles isn't a very long distance so you don't need to do too much to prepare." That is probably true but you only get one first race experience and they respect that.

I didn't set a distance goal for today's run but I'd hoped to do at least 5K. I headed quickly to neighborhood #2 to get a couple of miles down before circling back to my main neighborhood loop. I felt good as I ran but I didn't quite trust it since I was feeling very low just a few hours before. I dressed well for the weather (low 40's) but the sun did get warm near the end. When I reached one of my either-or points on my route (where I decide to take either a longer or shorter leg to the finish) I was happy to note that I had just passed three miles. I wasn't running especially fast but it seemed to be a good pace. I ended up covering 4.1 miles and calculated that I'd maintained an overall pace of 9:06/mile. I could have easily broken 9:00 minutes if I'd paid attention to the Garmin and picked up the pace for a few segments. I'm pleased with the results and glad I traveled more distance than I'd expected to cover. I have the weekend to work on strength and speed and will probably do one more long run early next week while I'm away on business.

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