Friday, November 8, 2013

Twelves and Thirteens; A Shiny New PR

Week 6 of training is going well so far. All of my training runs have been in the 12 and 13 minute mile pace. After 8 workouts in a row in the 12s, last week I started hitting the 13s agan. I was disappointed at first, and a little confused. I felt like I was pushing myself but the results weren't there.

The last few weeks, the runs have been a quarter mile jog followed by a quarter mile walk, repeat 4 times until you hit 2 miles. This is actually a lower percentage of jogging than before, which was jog 90 seconds, walk 60 seconds. I like this much better though. It's easier to ignore the time and just look at distance. Then I don't obsess and I don't have any idea what my pace is. Once a few weeks ago (I was in Georgia for training) I pushed myself during my first mile and hit it at 12:01. I was gassed. The rest of the workout was torture and in the end my pace was standard. Lesson learned: not yet ready for 12 minutes flat as a pace.

So what changes pace so much on consecutive runs? Well, the answer turns out to be quite simple. When you're only going 2 miles total, something as little as a minute can really throw off the pace. In one case that minute was a stoplight. It made me realize this training isn't about exact paces. I'm just trying to put in the miles and finish this half in the time I feel is appropriate. By race day perhaps even that goal will be gone and my only real goal will be "just finish".

The good news is I'll finish the year with 2/3rds of my PR goals completed. On October 19th, for the Sherry Anderson 5K, I got a 38:14.65. That bested my previous top 5k by almost 2 minutes. I was too exhausted to really be proud. Nicky even crossed the finish line with me!

Another note about pace, thanks to the brilliant smashrun.com. Thanks to the ease of using this site, I can look at my pace over the years. My first run was in 2007, and clicking through by months, I'm moving faster now than ever before. My previous best, spring 2011, I was averaging high 13s. Most of my past prolific months average out to 18 minute miles or so. Basically, I was walking. So now I really am onto something.

Tonight I do 2 miles at quarter/quarter, then tomorrow the fun gets funner. I have to jog a half mile then walk a quarter for three miles. In less than two weeks I'm supposed to jog 2 miles straight. Oh boy.