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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Running Goals

I mentioned before that I was actually taking on a little speed work in my weekly workouts. Nothing specific or scientific - like fartleks (he he) but more like flexible tempo runs.

I just pick a speed on the treadmill and go for a while, then slow down when I need to, then pick it back up again. And when I'm done, I'm done.

Like Phoebe, I'm trying to keep the joy in running.

I almost went to a boot camp class on Tuesday afternoon but I wasn't able to get out of my office early enough. Instead I started off on the indoor track thinking I would go 2-3 miles at my normal pace. I did the first mile around 10:25 (this pace seems to be a new normal now as I've done this fairly consistently over the past couple of weeks). But I'm worn out after that first mile so I took a walking break and then picked it up again. I only got halfway through the second mile when I felt tired and bored of the track. I dropped down to a quick walking break that turned into, "well I'm done with this" after about 10 seconds. I, however, wasn't done with cardio though so I switched over to the ellipticals for a while.

Ellipticals aren't that much more exciting but I got through my goal of a 400 calorie burn (took about 30 minutes). I still felt like I had enough energy to try another 10 minute mile before I was done. Also, I felt a bit guilty over the amount of mini donuts I had eaten that day and figured burning another 100+ calories wouldn't be a bad thing.

And so I switched over to the treadmill punched the 6.0 setting and off I went. The first few minutes were fine. At 5 minutes I felt done but I kept telling myself, "just 1 minute more". Then I was at 9 minutes and it was silly to give up. I'm sure the people next to me thought I was going to die at any second as my breathing was really labored. I couldn't quite hear how loud it was over my headphones but I'm sure it was bad.

But the point was that I survived and I pushed my workout longer by adapting. If I had stuck it out on the inside track I could have ran another 5 minutes to finish up that second mile and then I would have felt done for the day. Instead I got another 40 minutes worth of cardio in while still pushing myself beyond my comfort levels.

My fastest 5k (2010) had a pace of 9:14/mile. The fastest mile (by itself) that I ever ran was just under 8 minutes (seems crazy to me now as just running 1 minute at a 8:34 pace is agony). My first 5k (2009) was a pace of 10:01/mile. In early 2009 I wasn't in that much better of shape than I am now so getting back to this pace at my current fitness level is attainable.

And that's my current running goal - to get back to running a 10 min pace without it feeling like death after only 1 mile. I have no interest in pushing beyond a 5k distance right now. I'll re-evaluate after another month but going slow for a longer distance does not currently thrill me at all. This is kind of funny because in the past I would have always chosen distance over speed.

Over the next couple of weeks I won't be able to go to as many classes as I have been enjoying due to scheduling conflicts so I'll spend more time looking at running short distances. I'll just keep mixing it up so it stays interesting.

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