Saturday, March 21, 2009

36 darn seconds

This morning, with the temperature in the high 20's, it didn't feel like much like spring. My right side soreness was better but I was concerned about aggravating it with a long run. As I prepared to start, my next door neighbor (a CPA) was preparing to head to his office to deal with corporate tax filings. He said he'd rather be running than doing that (who wouldn't?) and I said "Cheer up April 16 isn't too far away." For me it was time to run.

I decided that I would run a minimum of 5 miles today and planned my route on Gmaps to help me stay focused on the goal. My secondary goal was to stay under 9:00 per mile but I knew that running 5+ miles puts me at the edge of my distance capability. I set out on a road with an incline to help me get my heart rate up quickly. It was cold and I dressed with a minimum of layers anticipating that I would build heat as I ran. I was running an 8:55 pace as I reached my first mile and I started wondering how long I could maintain that rate. As planned, I cut over to neighborhood #2 and did the big loop. Not being fully familiar with that area I made a navigation error and I ended up running about half a mile away from my planned exit. I didn't mind, miles are miles no matter where you take them.

Around the 4.5 mile mark I started struggling and I had another episode of hyperventilating. What was different about this is that I was relatively far from home when it happened. Like last time, I simply held my breath and ran until I felt rebalanced. I took a couple of slow deep breaths and soon returned to my previous rhythm.

I'll admit that the last leg, about 1/3 of a mile, was a struggle and I tried to generate as much speed as I could but I knew I was near my limit. I Gmapped my actual run and compared it to the Garmin and was happy to see that they were within .01% of the distance of 5.22 miles. I calculated my overall pace at 9:07 which meant that if I'd run 36 seconds faster over 47 minutes I would have averaged 9:00 min/mile. Later I'll look at my split times to see if I'd held pace under 9:00 for the first 3 miles which was the original goal.

I'll decide tomorrow whether I'll try for another long run or shorten the distance and turn up the speed. My injury seems no worse for the long run and I'm hoping the pain doesn't return later.

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