Numbers or not

Finally got back below that elusive 8 minute mile on Tuesday.  Granted it was only 7:58, but it’s still a win.  And it wasn’t an all out effort which is also encouraging.  Another positive was that it was my fastest mile and it was at the END of a 7+ mile run.

Sometimes you have to look pretty hard and pay attention to the numbers to see progress.  I went back to the (sporadic at best) statistics for my runs since the 15 mile race at Rock Bridge and there is a clear trend down in my pace and up in my mileage.  Of course it really took off after I started losing weight and in the past 2 weeks (10 pounds) I have dropped from a 9:00 average pace to an 8:30.  Part of it also is the addition of a training partner (thanks Judy!) to push me, especially on the ups where I tend to cruise a little too much.  But I don’t always run with her and my times are still better so take that for what it is.

I am NOT a stats guy.  I just can’t be that type A.  But I think it is important to at least keep a casual eye on them because they can be a general indicator of fitness, fatigue, injury, etc.  I used to obsess over numbers but found that I just got frustrated and especially when I hit plateaus, it sucked the fun right out of exercise.  So now I look occasionally but it’s mostly “in the moment” where I check my stats right after a run, ride, etc. but mostly I am comparing those numbers to my perceived level of effort.  For a while, the numbers didn’t line up with how I felt.  My times were slower than I felt.  But in the past two weeks that has leveled out and I can pretty much guess within 5 seconds or so per mile how I did.  Now I just need to be wrong on the plus side and run FASTER than I feel I did… 😉  This will come though.

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