Running quote of the week

“We run because it makes us feel like winners, no matter how slow or how fast we go.” – Florence Griffith Joyner and John Hanc, Running for Dummies

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Great progress, suddenly

Surprising results
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles

I think my training program is working. I've been encouraged by the improving paces I'm seeing after taking a more performance-oriented approach to my training runs. Overall, my average pace has dropped about 5% since I started training for Cow Harbor. The trend line was getting me closer to 9:00 per mile, but I hadn't yet reached that goal. That is, until this morning, when I blew right past it.

I wasted no time getting out today, hitting the road about 7:00 AM under very cloudy skies. Going out fast is becoming easier now, although I still suffer through the first few minutes while I hit my aerobic stride. The visual I keep in mind these days is putting my foot on the gas with no letup. Just like in a race, I know that to run faster, I have to think about running fast. Complacency only leads to slow results.

Like yesterday, I used my heart rate as a guide and saw that I was pretty much where I wanted to be. I considered breaking out of my 3 to 3.5 distance range that I typically follow on weekdays. I decided that while I'm developing my speed technique, I'll take a careful approach to adding weekday distance.

When I reached the last few streets that lead me back home, I decided to step it up even more. No reason to reserve more energy than what was necessary to get me to my driveway. After reviewing the metrics, I saw that I'd covered the last half mile at 5K pace. After mapping the run, I calculated that I'd paced 8:50 overall for the run. That was the fastest training run (excluding speed sessions) I've done since early February.

I was both surprised and pleased to have cracked the 9:00 threshold and encouraged that I surpassed my target. Tomorrow may be a good time to start working in a little more mileage while I try to hold the gains. I'm not expecting to repeat today's performance, but hey, you never know.

12 comments:

  1. Nice!! I bet you run Cow Harbor sub 54!

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    1. That would be close to miraculous, but thanks for the vote of confidence :) Breaking 54 mins on 10K would be a PR, but I don't know if Cow Harbor's course would be the place. I'd be thrilled to run 55:40...

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    2. Does the size of the field at the Cow Harbor impact your race time at all? I've run that course a couple of times now (and even went to a training run Wednesday night), and it seems that those roads could get pretty crowded with 5,000 runners on them.

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    3. Cow Harbor is staged so that only a few hundred go out at once. Still, it does get tight on Scudder for the first mile and James St. usually has some congestion due to the hill. Overall, the course is open and very managable.


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    4. Thanks. I'm incredibly excited for this race (for the first time in my brief running career), and just cannot get enough information about it right now. I'm like a little kid on Christmas morning waiting to run this thing, as it was a goal to do it when I started running last September to lose weight and lower my blood pressure. The weight is gone. The blood pressure is lower. Now its time to attack that damn course and have some fun doing so!

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    5. Congratulations on your year of running and now being ready to take on Cow Harbor. This is a post I wrote a few years ago that describes the course segment by segment: http://www.emergingrunner.com/2010/09/deconstructing-cow-harbor-course.html

      In terms of experience, if you search for cow harbor race report on this site, it will bring up my Cow Harbor race day summaries. Good luck!

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  2. Excellent! I ran an upcoming 5k course this morning, and essentially my goal had been to just finish under a 12:00 pace. (First race back.) Instead I clocked in at 11:00 pace on the nose. I still have 2 weeks until race day so I'm really hoping I can make that happen with a timing chip on my shoe.

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    Replies
    1. Nice going, that's a huge gain! Now it's time to back off a little on the race pace speed a little to prevent injury as you begin to taper. You'll gain some additional speed when running with the crowd and I'm confident that you'll do far better than the 12 min/mile goal. Good luck!

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  3. That's right.. you never know! Stay competitive with yourself, and watch while you set a new PR. This is great!

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    Replies
    1. Oh the pressure!! Actually, my hope is to beat my predicted time and get a PB for Cow Harbor. Anything more than that is really a bonus.

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  4. You inspired me to do a little unorganized speed work this morning. Thank you.

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  5. Anonymous.. he's great for that.. :)

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