This is going to be a quick, 10-minute post. I so do not have time to sit around playing on the computer. Certainly no time to come up with a more interesting title!
Anyhow, yesterday morning I decided to do a pace run with two miles warm-up, 5-6 miles at nine-minute pace (or faster*), and then a couple miles cool down, if I had time. Eight miles minimum, ten if I could.
The two warm-up miles went well, of course; why wouldn't they? Then I pushed it up into my first pace mile. It actually came out well, at 8:48. But I could tell as I moved into the next mile(s) that maintaining an easy sub-nine wasn't going to be effortless.
My legs weren't exactly feeling heavy, but they definitely weren't feeling light. I was in that place where I would feel like I was running 8:45 - 9:00, as far as effort went, but was registering 9:00 - 9:15. Not so great.
As I finished miles 2 and 3 at 9:01 and 9:02 I decided I needed an alternative method of meeting my pace goal. I came up with a scheme which I think was not only ingenious, it was actually a good training technique in itself. For each mile I would run the first 3/4 at my almost-nine-minute pace, then for the last quarter mile I would kick up the effort and run pretty hard. That would make up for any speed deficit in the first portion.
This plan worked amazingly well. The next three miles were solidly under nine minutes, and that completed my designated six pace miles. But I was on a tear now, not to mention going slightly downhill! So after that last "fast" quarter mile I kept the pace up and did another mile in 8:29. That left me with about a third of a mile really downhill to go before I hit Broadway. I kicked it up another notch and did those blocks at 7:42 pace (I might have been a little faster except that I had to avoid cars and pedestrians).
That left me almost at Starbucks at 9.3 miles (15K). I couldn't stop now, so close to ten miles, so I diverted my route a bit and did one more mile (9:23) before stopping, picking up a latte, and walking home (half a mile).**
I didn't have to be at work until 10:30 but when I got home I managed to dilly dally around enough (laundry, kitty litter, half an English muffin with PB) so that I still had to rush in the end. I managed to save a few minutes though to blend up a smoothy to take with me to work.
I blended up:
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (approx.)
1/2 cup frozen but slightly thawed strawberries (approx.)
Half a frozen banana
One cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
A couple packets of Splenda
Ice (I brought a cup of ice home from Starbucks because I wasn't sure if my blender could handle larger ice cubes).
My concoction almost filled a venti-sized Starbucks cup but was only about 150 calories (luckily, as it was about my third breakfast of the morning). Yummy! I love almond milk, it tastes so creamy but has half the calories of skim milk.
Now, at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, I'm finally off to take a shower and then start getting stuff together for dinner. Happy weekend!
*The minute I set nine minutes as my pace time I decided I should be faster, more like 8:45.
**My splits: 10:06, 9:30, 8:48, 9:01, 9:02, 8:52, 8:58, 8:47, 8:29, .31 at 7:42, 9:23. Total 10.3 miles, 9:03 average pace.