Friday, August 20, 2010

Bannister, You Feelin' Me?

Yesterday morning was a battle between the mind and the body. When the alarm went off it was dark, grey, wet, drizzling, etc. outside …. basically all the ingredients pointing to staying in bed. However, a 6 mile tempo run was on tap. I don’t usually have much trouble with convincing myself to get out the door, so when I do I try to step up my game to make my body punish my mind. My plan had been for 1 easy mile, 3 fairly fast miles (7:30 – 8:00 pace), and 2 miles at a moderate pace between 8:30 and 9:00. Made a quick revision of the plan, and decided to speed everything up, and try to really step up the pace on the 3rd tempo mile. Basically tell my brain to shove it up its cortex, and remember this the next time it starts pondering the snooze button.

An important thing to understand about my running/racing history is that until my marathon in March, I had never competed in any type of timed running race. Thus I have no official benchmarks against which to measure my time and effort. I was never on a track team, never tried a 5K, 10K, or any K. I have no idea what my fastest mile time is. Upside is I’ve got a pretty wide-open opportunity for PRs in all kinds of events.

Got myself out in the gloomy weather and got the run underway. Knees and feet felt pretty good throughout. Worked out some kinks and soreness in my calves in the first mile, ready to step it up the tempo in the second mile:

Mile 1 – 8:51

Sped things up quickly in mile 2, and still felt pretty good. In the past, when I wanted to speed up my pace I did so by elongating my stride. In this training cycle I’m working hard on changing that philosophy, focusing more on faster turnover and maintaining form. I’m still teaching my legs to behave this way, but getting better.

Mile 2 – 7:17

Got into a nice groove in mile 3. Still focusing on rapid turnover for faster pacing, and trying to step up the pace from the last mile. Legs still generally healthy.

Mile 3 – 7:03

Game on for mile 4. Here’s where I really wanted to see what I could do for a mile without badly breaking form. The first half mile felt pretty good. The second half I was running out of steam, and spent a lot of time eyeballing my Garmin. Very pleased when the 1-mile lap timer gave me permission to step off the gas a bit.

Mile 4 – 6:35
Miles 5 and 6 felt really slow after mile 4, but they were 8:21 and 8:30 respectively. I’m pretty happy with the 6:35 mile, and now have something that I can call my ‘best mile time’ moving forward. I’m a numbers junkie, so this feeds my statistics habit nicely.

Overall a strong run, and a strong tempo run, although not really following the proper definition of a tempo run. My brain has been properly reprimanded for its resistance, and hopefully will continue to behave itself going forward.

Joined the ‘Hard CORE Club’ yesterday, and got my first core workout completed last night. Ab work has always been the last thing that I do when I go to the gym, and unfortunately it often gets bumped in the interest of time. I’m hoping that doing core work as its own monster will get me doing it more regularly, and signing up publicly for this challenge will keep me accountable.


  1. Completely awesome. GREAT times!

    YAY for HCC!!

  2. Great job! Especially on mile 4 - I don't know that I could get there even with a rabid dog on my heels!

  3. You are fast! Great job!

    Yay for joining us in the Hard CORE Club!!

  4. wowsers that was a pretty speedy run!

  5. That is FAST! And I'm on the Hardcore challenge as well.

  6. Good job on the Core - I too try to make the workout seperate from the other stuff. That way I am more apt to do it.

  7. Good job! You are fast (I agree with other commenters!)!! Yay for the HCC!!!!

  8. That's a super run, well done!

  9. Wow! You are FAST!...I'm out of breath just reading the words 6.35 minute mile :)

  10. I am so bad about working my core....gotta get on that!