Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bad Run, Good Run

Sunday's "Bad" Run: Road. 53 degrees. 5.25 miles; Splits: 9:17; 9:19; 9:41; 9:13; 9:08; 2:05. 48:13; 9:16/mile average pace.

Today's "Good" Run: Road. 37 degrees. 4.1 miles; Splits: 9:32; 9:02; 9:00; 8:31; :48; 36:53; 8:59/mile average pace.

Sunday's run could be called "When Good Intentions Go Bad." I thought it would be a good idea to run 4 miles or so on the road and finish the last mile on the linear trail. It was a strategy that I've used before to trick left brain into allowing me to do some hillwork without freaking out. I decided to run a route that involves running a gradual uphill first mile, followed by a 175 foot long, gradual incline. Once I reached the top I would have a level mile 1 to 2, followed by a mostly downhill run miles 2 to 4 to the linear trail. My reward was to be the final scenic, flat mile on the trail. Problem was, brain forgot to inform legs about the game plan. Legs were not happy about the hillwork. It was a struggle to reach the top. Once I did, legs had already had enough. I figured legs would cooperate with a long, gradual downhill miles 2 to 3. Nope. Legs recruited bladder to remind me that drinking 16 ounces of an energy drink before a 5 mile run is not a good ides. Sure, it gave me the wake-up call I needed, but the time had arrived for relief. So a 30 second delay was in order to take care of business, and a 9:41 mile 3 split was my punishment. I even ran a fun lap around the nice and soft surfaced Cheshire High School track between miles 3 and 4 to try to bribe legs to give me some help. Again, there was no forgiveness in legs for the difficult already completed uphill part of the run. I was extremely happy when my run finally ended after 48 minutes and 43 seconds. My average pace per mile was a snail like 9:16. UGH.
Yesterday was a day of rest due to the rain and me having to work at Weight Watchers. Today I arrived home from work just before sunset, which is now at 4:28 p.m. here. I forced myself to dress warmly and get my ass outside in the 37 degree temperature to run. I don't like running in the cold, and I also despise running when it's dark. My agreement with left brain was to run a nice and easy 3 miler. Hey, it was dark and cold, so I HAD to cut a deal with left brain. I went outside and immediately noticed the bright full moon that helped illuminate the sidewalk. I decided I was going to run random streets around my neighborhood, and keep an eye on my Garmin so that I could finish my 3 miles as close to my home as possible. The first mile was mainly uphill, and my split was a very slow 9:32. Running in long running pants and a long sleeved running shirt felt so weird. My body and my legs felt heavy (Sound familiar?!), and my gloved hands weren't warming up. To make matters worse, the side streets I was on didn't have streetlights. I don't see very well in the dark, and uneven sidewalks certainly didn't help matters. Now I remember why I dislike this time of the year. I felt better around the mile and a quarter mark, and a feeling of effortless running returned. I haven't had that feeling in over a month. I was warmed up, the cool night felt great, my music was loud and rockin', and the full moon was beautiful. I felt so great that I decided to run for an extra mile. Mile 2 split time was a 9:02, mile 3, 9 minutes even. Mile 4 was 61 seconds faster than mile 1 (8:31). Overall, a great run of 4.1 miles and an average split time of 8:59. I haven't averaged under 9 minutes per mile in over two weeks, so I'm hoping my mojo has returned with the cooler weather.


Anais said...

I still can't believe you run that fast! When I run, I now run at a 9:31 pace, but then I take walk breaks so I think it evens out to a 10 minute mile...

Good job for ACTUALLY going out in the dark/cold for your run. I don't know if I would've been that brave :)

lindsay said...

your bad run stats don't look bad, but i know sometimes they stats are OK and the actual run felt like garbage. glad you were able to talk your other half into lacing up again.

i am so not a fan of running in the dark either. i'd definitely rather have the 75-80* summer heat and daylight hours at 7pm!

Lisa said...

I would kill to have your bad run stats. I have decided that running in the dark is not a good idea after what happened to me last weekend. If I can't see the ground or sidewalk I'm not running on it. Not worth another injury.