Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I don't want to get over confident, but...

I'm feeling pretty good about my prospects for Bloomsday. I'm feeling quite good about my prospects for not feeling bad about Bloomsday, and I'm cautiously optimistic about doing well enough to feel pretty good about the result. "Pretty good result" means something similar to last year's finish time (1:06:52, 8:58 pace), or anywhere in that ballpark, either a little bit slower or faster.

My positive mood is thanks to another good run this morning, 7.52 miles in 1:11:50, for an average 9:33 mile pace. This was the result of an interval-type run where I alternated "slow" (approximate 10-minute pace) with "fast" (approximately 9-minute pace) miles. The first 1.51 miles were my warm-up, then I did my fast-slow intervals (each split one mile, except for the second one), with interesting results:

1 - "Warm-up" 10:25
2 - "Warm-up" .51 mile at 9:46 pace (5:02)
3 - "Fast" 9:19
4 - "Slow" 9:56
5 - "Fast" 8:55
6 - "Slow" 9:57
7 - "Fast" 8:49
8 - "Slow" 9:20

By the time I got to the last "slow" mile, I was able to run a 9:20 mile that felt like a resting pace—at virtually the same speed as my first "fast" mile! Now, granted, there was a substantial downhill at the beginning of that final mile, during which I noticed a lot of 8:30 neighborhood times on my watch. That clearly helped get a faster time even with a slowdown in the last half mile to my house. But throughout the run, pushing myself on those fast intervals made the ten-minute recovery miles seem easy.

I believe that this type of a run also helps me with the skill of regulating my pace, slowing down when I want to but also being able to pick up the pace again after running at a slower speed. Often in a race I want to speed up in the last mile or two, and I noticed this winter that this was kind of hard to do, even though I have done it in many past races. Or I find myself lagging partway through a run, and want to rev it back up. It's nice to know that I am not just limited to one speed—that being the pace my body wants to go on a given day.

If I ran Bloomsday with a result like today, I'd be okay with that. (If I could eliminate the resting miles I would be even better with that!) And a good thing—I checked the conversion of 12K to miles, and it turns out that it equals 7.46 miles, which is 6/100ths of a mile less than I ran this morning! I'm hoping that means I have the distance in the bag.

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