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A new Training Run PR! And a new Half goes on the calendar

Well, all the weather forecasters have been calling for this 6-inch snowstorm to hit Chicagoland (and particularly the county I live in).  When it started sprinkling at 4pm at the office, I decided to leave before the roads became congested and turn a 1-hour commute into a 3+ hour one (the longest snow commute for me has been 4 hours).

So as I am driving home, I call my running partner (my car has built-in 'handsfree calling' which is legal here in Illinois) to talk about races and to see if he might want to hit the gym tonight.  I mean hey, it is going to be snowing so what better use of our time than getting in a few miles!  He considered it but eventually learned his family had other ideas.  Oh well, see ya on Saturday for our long run, Mike. :)

He and I did agree to add another race to our schedule.  Mike and I are going to run the North Shore Half Marathon on June 10th which is organized by Ram Racing (who held the Turkey Trot 5K race I ran last November).  Mike had run it before and said it was a good race.  And the swag is pretty nice.  Half Marathon finishers get a nice medal, and all runners get a cool Track Jacket 'goodie'.  And, they host a post-race breakfast of pancakes, french toast, sausages, and bananas (similar to the Turkey Trot last year).  So I am excited!  That makes 6 Half Marathons for me this year.  (I will likely add two more by year-end and get promoted to a Two Moon Half Fanatic.  We'll see.)

So I go to the gym, get dressed in my running gear, put on my Instinct shoes, and head for the Treadmill.  I decided that tonight I was going to do a 'race pace' run instead of my usual Thursday easy run.  I want to see where I stand in terms of my 5K pace.  I have a 5K race on March 24th and I really want to PR that race.  So it's a month away and I want to see if I am in a good place fitness-wise to accomplish that goal.  And, quite frankly, I wanted to really test these shoes to see how they feel at my 5K pace.

So, I did my 5 minute warm-up walk at 3.5mph and then I was "off to the races."  I set the Treadmill to a 9:30/mm pace (6.3mph) and a 1% incline, clicked the Lap button on my Polar watch, and the trial began!  I ran really comfortably for the first two miles and then my brain started telling me I was getting tired (I really hate negative self-talk. Gotta work on that).  So I worked on focusing on my breathing and my form, and responding with "GRRRRRR!!!! I am fine".  (I think part of it was that I forgot my water bottle and after two miles, my mouth was getting dry.  I could've used a quick drink.)

But I kept running.  And found that I still had plenty of leg left.  In fact, for the last .20 miles I bumped up the pace to 9:00/mm just to see what that would feel like.  Oh I noticed the difference!  But I finished the 5K distance, and then did a 5-minute cool-down at 3.5mph before calling the run complete.

The results?  Well, the entire workout went for 3.80 miles in 40:10.  But the cool thing was that I beat my last 5K PR by three seconds, finishing the 5K segment in 29:27! Granted, it is only a training PR.  But still, it told me what I needed to know -- that I definitely have a chance at PRing my upcoming 5K race, AND, that I have enough in me to run it at a pace faster than 9:30/mm.  I am very encouraged!  AND, I ran it with my minimalist shoes with no discomfort either during or after the run.  I like these shoes. :)

So now, I will focus my interval trainings between now and March 24th towards becoming comfortable with a 9:00/mm pace.  And, I am thinking of running the 5K race in the Instincts rather than my Sauconys.

I am at 15.7 miles for the week so far, with a planned 8-9 mile Long Run scheduled for Saturday.  This will be a good mileage week for sure.  I really felt like a runner tonight.  It was great!

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Reader Comments (2)

As good as you run today was, was how bad mine went. It was just one of those days where it just wasn't a good run at all.

Cool that you're getting those PR triumphs in!

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKippWade

I have had those days. All of us do. All you can do is learn whatever you can from it, and then leave it behind you. There will be many more good runs than hard ones in your future!

February 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterRichard Peete

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