But it's a work holiday, so I have free time on my hands and I think I can devote a few minutes to writing. (Before I turn back to my
So here I am. Hi. I am tempted to launch into another blog topic which has been on my mind, to wit "Why am I always needing to make a Running Comeback when I have never Gone Away," but I'll save that for another day and turn to that other popular subject, "Catching Up."
Without getting into the Comeback issue, I will cautiously say that I feel like I am making progress in getting out of my winter slump and moving toward spring rejuvenation. After my solid 5K last Saturday (successfully hitting the tempo pace I had assigned to that run), and the decent 20-miler on Sunday, I went into Valentine's week with some optimism.
Side-note: I did not defile sugar-free** February with any kind of Valentine indulgence...no chocolates, cupcakes, or banana bread, all of which were on offer in my office and elsewhere. So good, that. I'm actually planning on extending sugar-free February through Lent, maintaining my long run days as feast days. Yes, I know, what a way to trivialize a genuine religious tradition. (In my Internet scanning I have learned that the Eastern Orthodox churches consider both Saturdays and Sundays feast days...something to think about.)
Anyhow, Tuesday was my easy/recovery run day. 6.25 miles, slow, no evidence of any comeback.
Wednesday was speed work (of sorts). It wasn't convenient to go to the track, so I changed the complex track interval scheme to a simple 4 x 1600 (mile), with 400 m (quarter mile) rest intervals. Mile intervals are the practical option when it is too dark in the morning to see my watch (and I have no idea how to program my Garmin for intervals). After two warm-up miles, I picked up my pace and pounded out the first mile. On the not-so-great side, my miles were about 45 seconds slower than prescribed. On the not-so-bad side, they were a lot faster than my usual pace! 8:35, 8:38, 8:20, 8:35, with quarter-mile jogs between. It might have been a good idea to stop then (and get to work on time), but I threw in another mile (9:40) plus a quarter mile at 9:10 pace (the clock was ticking) for a total of eight miles.
Then it was Friday. We'll call this one a tempo/pace run. Two miles warm-up, five miles tempo (about 8:45 average for the five miles), and a half mile cool-down before I had to stop and get to work (sensing a theme here?). Total 7.5 miles.
Conveniently, this was a cut back week, as my long run was a half marathon! I might do a separate race recap for this, as all my little stories would make this way too long. But the running part did result in my fastest 2012 half marathon so far (which, granted, isn't saying much). 2:03:54 officially. I was satisfied as my pace (9:23 on my watch) was exactly the long run training pace my scheduled called for on this day.
I might not typically do a weekday run on the day after a half, but I couldn't resist the opportunity on a work holiday to run at a time that was not pre-daybreak! After sleeping in till 8:00, then lounging around and making oatmeal for breakfast, I headed out a little after 10 a.m. for an easy eight.
It is so much easier for me to run in the mid-morning than early morning! I don't like running in the evenings after work, but give me a few hours of slothfulness before running and I am all in...and so are my legs. How refreshing to see my first mile start with a 10, rather than 11.
My moderate start made it possible to do something I haven't for a while, which is achieve an average pace of 10-minutes per mile after the first three. That required running pretty hard and fast in mile 3...but that also made the subsequent 9:30-9:45 pace miles feel sort of effortless. I ended up doing 8.5 miles total, average overall pace around 9:45. (I could go look at my Garmin to get the exact pace, but I am sitting now and don't want to move. I told you...lazy.)
And the rest of the day has been pretty much lunch then lounging. I heard an interesting piece on NPR about Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (boxer who was imprisoned for murder in 1966) and we might watch the Denzel Washington movie tonight.
And with that...Happy President's Day! Enjoy your time off if you have it!
*Although I am ashamed to admit that even reading has suffered from my Internet hampered attention span...too often I find myself skimming blog posts rather than chapters.
**Sugar-free meaning treats and desserts, not all sugar in any foods.
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