Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tramps like us, baby we were born to run

Workout: 5 miles, 53:50

5 miles down and it feels pretty great! I had originally planned on running this nice and easy, hoping for about an 11:40 pace. After my last treadmill run I decided I'd be ambitious and aim for an 11 minute pace - still slower than my weekday runs but faster than I had been running. I am a new convert to the idea that you really don't know how fast you can run until you try. Then, I talked to my dad. While you'd never know it to look at him now, my dad used to be a pretty good cross-country runner. He suggested I run my first mile with an 11 min pace and then see if I could kick it up to 10 for the middle miles and back down to 11 for the last mile. At first I was really unsure. Me? Run more than 2 10 min miles? Surely you jest. He reminded me that I didn't think I could run one 10 min mile, let alone 2, so maybe 3 wasn't completely outside the realm of possibility (hence my new speed philosophy above).

I got up and out this morning at around 8, which is probably still too late to start but is a vast improvement over last week's 11:15 debacle. I decided to go running at a park by Moondoggie's house because a) I was there and b) his neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks. Now. I have done all of my running, ever, almost exclusively on streets. I have a hard time working up motivation to drive somewhere to go running, so I just map runs from my apartment. It's not always awesome, but it gets the job done. So I was both excited and nervous to run on an actual running path. What if it was really empty and I got raped by a crazy man? I tried to convince Moondoggie he wanted to come with me, but he not so politely declined. Then I got nervous about the actual stopping. I usually end up stopping once or twice per "long" run to wait for lights. Would I be able to cover the distance without these 15 second breaks? My knee hadn't been loving me all week, what if it hurt in the middle of the loop and I couldn't just hop a bus back to my car? These are the ridiculous things I think about.

Well, all of my fears were unfounded. In fact, the park was PACKED! This was both awesome and frustrating. I love people watching so I never got bored, which was awesome. I loved running on the path because I knew it was a 5 mile loop, so I didn't have to worry - I could just follow the curve of the road! There was a Team in Training group run going on, which was both great to see and really obnoxious. I think TNT is a great organization. My sister is training to run her first half with them and she loves them. They raise money for an amazing cause and teach people some really great things about running. In that respect, it was inspiring to see so many TNTers out and running. But. There were a couple of things about the way they had organized their run that really bothered me. First, they were running in fairly large groups. I'm more of a solo runner myself but I can understand the benefits of running with a group. However, it sucked that they were 4 or 5 abreast. This made it really difficult to pass. I was also taken aback by their attitude. They set up some sort of checkpoint/finish line area about 1/2 way around the loop. They had a canopy set up with gatorade and a cheering section. I think that's great. I'd love it if every long run felt like a race! As I approached, I noticed they were cheering on all of the TNTers who passed. When I passed, the leader (maybe?) said, "Oh, not HER. Don't cheer for HER, she's not one of us." Um, thanks, lady! I certainly wasn't expecting them to cheer for me, but I was very put off by her holier than thou attitiude. I wanted to respond, "Hey, I've given tons of money to your organization, lady!"

Anyway, the run went pretty well! As you can tell from the timing, I didn't quote make my 11-10-10-10-11 plan. I haven't uplaoded Henry's data yet, but I know I was in the 10s for the middle miles which I'll 100% take. When I was training for the half, my 5 mile time was around 62 minutes. The fastest I've EVER run 5 miles was 58:32 about 4 years ago, so this felt pretty amazing. The path was a little hillier than I anticipated and my left knee didn't love that, but all in all an excellent run!

Now I'm off to enjoy a beautiful 80 degree So-Cal weekend! How'd your "long" runs go?

Edit: Holy typos, Batman! Sorry about that, that's what I get from trying to blog from my phone in the car!

No comments: