Distance: 6.2 mi
Miles to go: 1768
Ran one of my favorite routes this morning on one of the more spectacular mornings I can remember. Temperatures in the mid 50s, no wind, Black Locust trees blooming everywhere, the full moon setting on one horizon and the sunrise in the other. I think this is one of the most magical and often overlooked things about running. We get so focused on times and such that we forget to look around. It was gorgeous.
I also love running with the group after most of them have competed in a big race the weekend before. It makes me feel fast… (insert evil grin here). I passed guys I have NO business running with this morning because they were hobbled by big events two days before. Gotta admire them though… I prolly woulda stayed in bed after a 50 mile trail run… a hospital bed…
Anyway, I took off at a pace that felt slow but found that I was flying past people. I crept up on the lead pack and stuck with them for about the first 2 miles and then the pack strung out on the first big up of the run. I found that not only was I not losing ground, I was slowly catching some of the lead pack. I worked hard on maintaining “effort” today. In other words, trying not to overwork the hills and coast the downs, but rather maintain the same breathing, heart rate and movement throughout the entire run. It’s something I’ve heard some of our elite runners talking about. Just accepting the fact that you will be a bit slower on uphills, but don’t either a); try to kill the hills to get them overwith or b); ease up on them and hope to make it up on the downs. Just feel your body and make sure you are putting out the same effort on ups AND DOWNS as you do on the flats. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but it works.
The end result for me on this run was a PR time of 49:30 (7:59 pace) and the first time I have run under 8 minute pace on one of our group runs since I got hurt. All in all, pretty darned encouraging. Although I will admit I had to check my watch a couple of times to make sure I was reading it right (I was hoping for something under 54 minutes…!). I wouldn’t say I’m “flying” yet, but still… cool!