Friday, June 26, 2009

Running faster than the rain

After Wednesday's ordeal I took a rest day with a plan to do another long run this morning. I decided not to go for a personal distance record because the weather wasn't ideal and I didn't want to be disappointed twice in one week. The skies were darkening and the humidity was 96% so I decided to run for about 45 minutes or until the torrential rains started, whichever came first. After a brief warm-up I set off along the service road heading north so I could follow the turnpike road that borders the neighborhood. My leg was quite stiff and sore, as usual, but I knew that the pain would lessen after a few minutes. I still don't know why that condition persists or why it goes away after warming up. The pain doesn't come back after running, at least not until much later.

One reason I chose the beginning part of the route was to use the mostly flat, downhill first mile to loosen up without sacrificing too much time in terms of overall pace. I maintained that route and made my way south entering a part of the neighborhood with multiple, parallel connected roads. I had planned to come in at the point to allow me to build mileage without duplicating my route. The whole time I ran I felt stuck in gear, maybe not second, but closer to third. It was good that I hadn't planned to run seven miles because I doubt I could have done it at a pace that I would call acceptable. If I'm going for a distance PR I want to be proud of both time and distance. The rain held off for the most part although it did start to sprinkle when I was fairly far away from my house. Rather than flashing back to Wednesday's difficult experience I almost welcomed a downpour that would cut the humidity. Besides, in my own neighborhood I could find my way home without glasses.

I ended up covering 5 miles exactly in 47:30. It annoys me that I'm consistently running paces in the 9:10 to 9:40 range after having a couple of months earlier in the year when I was coming in consistently under 9:00 for my distance runs. One thing that's different is that both my distances and frequency of longer runs have increased. After all, there is a difference between most people's 5K and 10K paces. I'm planning to do a shorter (and hopefully faster) run tomorrow and Sunday AG is coming out to run the trails with me.

We've been field testing lots of technologies and gear. Look for some reviews soon on Runner's Tech Review for the QStarz GPS Sports Recorder, Moji-To-Go portable icing unit, Helly Hansen Trail Lizard running shoes and more!


  1. Sounds like if you're annoyed about being stuck on same pace you may need to add in a shorter tempo run and maybe some intervals. Nothing crazy but shorter distances at harder efforts to get your body used to the higher speeds. You can then build those run over time to longer distances which will hopefully help.

  2. Good advice actually. I ran 3.5 miles in the high 8's this morning by integrating some tempo segments. It felt great to break that barrier again!


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