This morning was the first time this fall I have had to face going out to run not only in the dark, but in the rain as well. I could hear it on the roof before I got out of bed, so I took the time to pop in my contacts instead of wearing glasses. I got the contacts especially for running in the rain and skiing, but I'm not crazy about shoving them in my tired eyes early in the morning!*
It wasn't really raining too much when I went out the door, although the sidewalks were wet and shiny and there were puddles to dodge (in the dark). With my hat on and a jacket, I could hardly feel the rain at all.
Because I was doing speedwork this morning, I cut my regular route short so I would have time to spend at the track. When I turned around to head south, though, I found the rain that I had missed on my journey north! And the wind. Although I hadn't realized it, I had the wind at my back going north, which probably made for an easier trip. Once I started south I was running right into the wind.
This is reflected in my atypically "positive" splits for my warmup: 10:22, .51 mile at 9:49 pace, 10:07, 10:16, and then .75 mile at 9:42 pace.
After that I was at the track and ready to start my planned speedwork of six half-mile intervals with (originally) a quarter-mile recovery jog in between. After the first three I realized that I only had fifteen minutes until I really needed to head home (only a quarter mile or so away), and if I stuck to the quarter-miles between laps I would not have time to do all the laps. So I switched to one-minute recoveries, allowing four minutes for each half mile.
My intervals went pretty well. I would characterize them as a little slower than optimum 5K pace (slower than my average pace last Saturday), but all sub-8 pace, so I consider that satisfactory. I was a little hampered (I believe) because it was still dark when I started, and I think I hold back a little in the dark. I couldn't see well where the puddles and extra-muddy patches might be. When it lightened up, my final laps were a little faster. Interestingly, those were laps where the recovery portion was much shorter, and that didn't seem to matter at all.
Here are my half-mile splits:
- 4:04 - .51 mile at 7:56 pace (this one was a little long, I adjusted my stopping point after)
- 3:56 - .50 mile at 7:55 pace
- 3:54 - .50 mile at 7:53 pace
- 3:52 - .50 mile at 7:48 pace
- 3:53 - .50 mile at 7:45 pace (my Garmin measurement doesn't account for fractional differences in distance, hence the longer time but faster pace for what appears to be the same distance)
- 3:50 - .49 mile at 7:45 pace (oops, guess I stopped a hair too soon!)
I am pleased that I was able to progressively increase my pace over the six repeats! I should, and would like to, increase the number of intervals I am doing, but that is a little difficult (for half-miles, anyway) given the time I have in the mornings and the darkness. I could shorten up my warm-up run (4.25 miles today), which would allow more time. But even so, it was still dark when I started at the track and I'd just rather not try to do a lot in the dark. However, I could definitely do more quarter-mile intervals. Something to work on planning.
My total distance this morning was 8.51 miles over 1:19:07 (average pace 9:17).
When I got home and went up to take a shower, I discovered that although I had managed to avoid most puddles, the track was a lot muddier than I realized!
*The other funny thing about the contacts, because they are weighted for astigmatism, it takes a while (like 15 minutes) for them to adjust properly in my eyes. Until that happens my vision is as blurry as if I didn't even have them in at all, except worse, because I can't even see clearly close-up for reading, which I can without my glasses.