Well, a little bit compared to last week, anyway.
Following on from not having the energy for 5 miles last Saturday, I had an extra bit of toast yesterday morning and hoped. Since last week, i’ve exercised every day at least once but, due to all of the exercises being different, feel surprisingly good. I’m hoping that a good mix of weights, running and cycling will stand me in good stead for the middle distances i’m attempting shortly, with an eye on what really works for my marathon training over the winter as the inevitable mileage build up begins on the runs. Basically, if I can avoid one run a week, i’m going to try.
Still didn’t help yesterday as I put running off all day until 5 o’clock came around and I still felt lethargic, though.
But with the pizza dough rising and Cathy making me feel guilty (don’t know how when she’s got an unblogged run and weights session to catch up on, to say nothing of a running schedule to maintain, but there you are. I’ll get caned for that sentence soon. Make the most of it before I get the cold shoulder, I guess!), I pulled on some running shorts and looked out of the window to be greeted by rain. Again.
Ah, well, the clouds looked as though they were on the move, so it wouldn’t last, I guessed, and left the washing out as I set off.
Planning to beat my brain and get rid of last week’s associations of failure, I did the 5 mile route backwards. I don’t think i’ve ever done it that way before, but I fancied a change and also a set pace so thought i’d give it a go.
Away from the house, all I was doing was checking my virtual partner to maintain my pace. And it took some checking, always finding myself sprinting off at an unsustainable pace. I’m sure the cycling to work is making me a monster for fast first miles. It was good to keep the pace somewhere near my target, though, especially since this is the start of mileage increase. Bad that after a mile I thought I had it cracked and stopped checking so regularly only to find that in the second mile, I gained 20 seconds on target, though.
Somehow, my pace felt easy, my feet felt light and with little effort, I was flying. To the point that if I compare my pace for the target “long, slow” run with Cathy’s Runners World calculator and my target half marathon pace, I was 85 seconds ahead. With no increased breathing, no stress and no effort, that can’t be right. RW seems to be 20 seconds slower than Hal Higdon, but what that means for either a) injury potential or b) my target pace, I simply don’t know. But, as determined a while ago, i’m ignoring structured schedules and running what feels right. So I carried on.
The rest of the run felt somewhat the same. I had to dodge 3 pairs of cars on the route (cars on the lane passing opposite directions right where I was – how’s your luck when I only saw about 25 cars total) and the rain kept up until half way around, but it was all good. After mile two I kept checking the pace to make sure I wasn’t going silly fast, but settled into a gradual improvement and insistently didn’t pick things up for the last half mile to home.
I got in hot, but generally fresh and happy. No time for a blog, what with pizza to make and eat and everything that having a shower entails, but generally pleased.
And here I am, blogging on Sunday morning while I decide if the rain’s going to hold off so I can do outdoorsy type things again. With fresh legs indicating the pace was realistic after all. Now, if I can convert that pace to the race, the target is very much on. Still a long time to go and a correspondingly large distance to increase, but I think i’m up for it.
Haven’t felt this positive for a very long time. A good cold due to knock me off my perch, anyone?