Sunday, March 21, 2010

A day in the park (industrial version)

Today's run: 5.5 miles (road) at 9:19

After yesterday's tough trail run I decided to give myself a break and run on the road instead. I didn't let myself off easy though, my first destination was the industrial park that is located a half mile from my neighborhood. I'd been thinking about the Marcie Mazzolla race course knowing that I'll again encounter that hill that stretches for almost a mile. I clearly need to do more hill work and while yesterday was good start in that direction it was useful to duplicate the conditions of a road race. The streets in the industrial park form a 1.2 mile loop with a steady incline when running in the counterclockwise direction. I felt strong as I set out to run from my house to the industrial park. I'd dressed in a short-sleeved wicking shirt and compression shorts that turned out to be the perfect combination, but the first ten minutes of the run were a little chilly with the wind.

As I made my way around the park it occurred to me how similar this course felt to the lower loop at Central Park. Certainly not in terms of visual stimulation (although the density of Canada geese in the industrial park was far higher than in CP) but similar in the location of the elevations and downhills. I didn't know how I was tracking for pace and I didn't really care. It was about the hills and I felt I was holding my own. By the time I was on the third loop I noticed that I felt stronger than I did at the start. When I reached the flat part of the loop that leads to a downhill section I felt like I had done really well. Not only that, I felt like I could do more running, so I took a detour back to my neighborhood and stretched my distance to a total of 5.5 miles.

Next week I will use some of the treadmill's hill climbing programs in my weekday morning runs to help maintain the progress I made this weekend. My overall pace of 9:19 is acceptable to me considering that a good part of today's workout was done uphill. I'm very glad I'm resting tomorrow!

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