Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Breakthrough

Well, I'm a little surprised at the outcome of our last poll, "What is Your Primary Reason for Running?" Turns out nobody runs primarily for weight loss or maintenance--most of you run mainly for good health! Way to go guys! There was a tie between running for fun and running for competition--but I think we can all agree that we run for lots of reasons, and we all love doing it! *Most of the time* :)

BIG breakthrough today--but before I tell you what, I'll give you a little history of the day. If you'll recall, I ran the IHR Thanksgiving Day 5 Miler, and a few people at work knew I was going to be running. Coincidentally, I've recently discovered a couple of runners at work that were in hiding, until they heard that I also ran. ("So and so told me you run...") :roll: So, one of these runners asked me today how my T-Day race went, and I told him. We started talking about how I'm pretty slow still, but that my pace for that race was my best ever at 10:16 per mile. He informed me that I COULD run faster than that (his record for 1 mile was in the 5:00 range) without a problem. I laughed and said yeah right. I've been trying to go faster for a very long time, and haven't been near sub-10:00, don't see it happening anytime in the near future.

But he got me thinking--I wonder how fast I run a mile. I wonder if I COULD push myself and how long it would take me to actually get sub-10:00. All day, I pondered this, and near the end of my workday, I thought, "You'll never get faster if you don't just force it. Try it today." I have no intention of being stupid and hurting myself by pushing too hard beyond my limitations. I want to run, and going fast is not THAT important to me. But when I got home from work, I felt strong. You know when you just FEEL good? I felt like I had momentum built up in my legs--EVEN AFTER MY INTENSE CORE WORKOUT YESTERDAY. I swear, that workout has my legs, my arms, my back, my shoulders and my abs SORE. Good sore...but soooo sore!

So I went out. I ran, I pushed it the first mile. I was going faster and it felt good. Breathing was quicker but I was in a good place. I pretended I was in a running commercial--darting around, jumping over rocks, running "fast." It was fun. Mile 2 came and I looked at my watch.

This can't be right...typically, I would reach that point in 22:00-24:00 during any given training run. My best possible (as of my T-Day race, which was a PR for me) would put me at 20:32.

My watch read "16:55."

What. The. Eff? No way.

I pushed on back up the hill--my legs were feeling the effects of this increased speed by this point but I pushed as strong as I could and kept running--not as fast but faster than normal.

By the end of my run, I had completed 5.08 miles in just under 48:00...an impossible feat for me.

So was today a fluke? Can it be duplicated? I don't know, and I won't know until next week. I don't plan to push like that but once a week until I know I'm capable safely.

But what DOES matter to me and what I DO know for sure is that I can say I CAN run a mile under 10 minutes and not just 1 mile, but 5. That's a huge step for me and it's definitely in the right direction.

Have a wonderful Hump Day, everyone!


Some guy named John said...

Congratulations! You've discovered what makes running FUN!! ;)

Seriously, your 48-minute 5+ miler wasn't a fluke, and yes you can duplicate it. The hard part is reigning in the beast on easy pace days. Are you doing any formal speedwork?

Modern Marvel said...

I'm currently doing 1 session of speedwork every week. Nothing too intense, but typically a good tempo or interval workout.

And you're right, it IS hard to reign in on those easy days. I'm finding that the slower I run, the more it hurts. LOL

lindsay said...

wow great job pushing yourself through a tough run and discovering just a hint of your speed! you'll be knocking down your pr's left and right soon enough.

for easy days - do you run with a heart rate monitor/thought about it? they are a great way to make sure you keep your easy days easy and in the 65-75% hr zone.

keep up the good work - sounds like you are on the right track!

tjohnson1970 said...

Sorry I haven't checked in in over a week. Been a little hectic. Great job. I'm really proud of you. You'll be outrunning me in no time. I better start getting serious.