Tuesday, August 11, 2009

At the edge of 9:00

9:00 per mile has always been a psychological barrier for me. I've broken it many times and even broken 8:00 on a 1.5 mile run but in terms of regular running 9:00 is probably my mode pace. This past weekend, with the hilly trails at Stillwood and the relatively long distance on the Belmont Lake Park trail, I was fine with pace times that edged around 10:00 per mile. But on the street my expectations change and I really want to see an '8' before the colon on my Garmin when I finish a run. I had no real expectations for this morning's run. I wanted to cover about 2.5 miles and with yesterday as a rest day I thought I'd have a chance at a decent pace. I was delighted to see my iPhone acquire a PS signal with MotionX fairly quickly and I took off knowing the belt-and-suspenders combination of my Garmin 50 and the MotionX GPS app would capture my metrics fairly well.

The run was nice but unremarkable. I took advantage of the early morning, barely awake mode and floated through the course thinking about many things. I checked my Garmin for time elapsed, saw 6:55 and again thought I had run further than that. I have become somewhat impatient on these early runs. I noticed that the MotionX interface was continuing to show it had a signal and I was glad of that since I sort of lost track of exactly which streets I'd run. I knew the mapping file would tell me all that later. I turned east to finish the last loop and reached home having run 2.63 miles in 23:40 for an overall pace of 00:8:59:92, 8/100ths short of 9 minutes. I accidently switched to a different screen on the iPhone when I tried to hit the stop button (the touch screen is vey sensitive) but I saw the elapsed time as I did that. Later I mapped the run on Google Earth and saw that I'd covered .15 miles more than the GPS reported due to its margin of error.

I'll admit that knowing I broke 9:00 this morning made me happy. I'm thinking about pace times for the Dirty Sock 10K and I'm hoping to maintain a 9:30 pace or better. But you never know with races, how great would it be to have an 8-something time on that? If that's the case I'm throwing an additional $20 into the Garmin 405 fund.

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