Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Working on speed and pace

Last week I was doing a treadmill run at my gym. My trainer came up to me and started chatting. I was running at a speed of 5.0 or a 12 min mile. I realize that's slow given my times outside, but it's where I start on the treadmill. He is encouraging me to go faster. And he looked at my display and said "humor me since I'm here and bumped me up to 5.4". He said I can start faster than I do. So I've been thinking about that. . .

Friday as I was leaving work dressed in my gym clothes I realized I didn't want to run on the treadmill. I wanted to run outside. I was only doing 3 miles, but I just wanted to go home. I rarely get to go straight home from work. I'm either going to the gym, the barn or even once a month or so getting a massage. The problem with going home on Friday night? A storm was coming and it was coming fast. I decided I would run at home anyways and if I got wet or had to run less then oh well. For my mental health I just wanted to go home.

So I get home and immediately strap on all my running crap and off I go. There are black clouds in the distance. There is lightening not too far away. I decide that I'm staying on my side of the block in case I need to get home quickly. We live basically smack dab in the middle of the block. Each side is a mile long so we are at the .5 mile mark. So I turn left and go to the end, turn around and go to the other end, then turn around and go back to the first end and then turn around and go back to my drive. Make sense?! LOL. I was running FAST! My GPS had trouble working on a good day so it did not work at all under the storm clouds. My heart rate watch has a stop watch on it. It seems my first mile was 10:15. It's possible my 2nd was 10:55. The third was PAINFUL. I got a side stitch. The wind picked up and it was colder and it started spitting rain. I pushed through and got back to my drive at 29:45. That means my avg pace was UNDER 10 min. I have dreamed of a 10 min mile. But I never imagined going faster than that. I truly wish my GPS had worked.

On Sunday I ran around the block and this was only my second time running 5 miles. The last time my GPS didn't start when I did, so once it did I started over, but my stats aren't even worth talking about since they don't cover the full 5 miles. I do know I ran slow. This time I did 5.15 miles in 56 mins. Runkeeper logged 5.14 but when I hit stop on my phone it said 5.15. *shrug*My avg pace was 10:54 Here are my splits:

My GPS talks to me every 1/4 mile and tells me my total time and avg pace. I knew I was going faster as I ran. I purposely slowed down the last mile. That portion has a hill on it that, while not huge, certainly does challenge my heart rate. But my last mile was a full min faster than my first. I'd like to be more consistent.

So yesterday I killed my legs. I had a lunge lesson on a horse at my barn. My horse is off at my trainer's remember. And he is NOT a good lunge lesson horse. My trainer comes for clinics on certain mondays. So I borrowed a horse and had a lunge lesson. For those that don't know basically you start with no reins. . . then after a few mins of warm up for you and the horse and stretches for you, you take away the stirrups. The horse is attached to my trainer and works in a circle around him. I have to do crazy stuff like ride all three gaits with my arms straight up over my head. Or maybe with arms doing backwards windmills with the arms opposite each other. Last night I had to do those windmills and also alternate my feet between pointing and flexing. And then I had to do the downward transitions from canter - trot and trot - walk while maintaining the windmills and feet flexing. What I mean is I had to tell the horse to change gaits. In general during a lunge lesson the person in the middle tells the horse what to do. It's really hard to tell the horse to change gaits while maintaining windmills and feet flexing! Wow. I'm not all that coordinated. This lesson challenges your abs as those muscles keep you on the horse. Your legs do too, but not to the extent you may think. For example I had to ride all three gaits with my legs pulled out and away from the horse. So my butt was touching the horse. :) What happens to my legs is they stretch out. They get longer. They don't get to grip like I might when I'm really riding with stirrups. They start to burn :)

Then I drove straight home and I ran 3 miles. I believe in always running the day after my long run. Fatigue the legs is what I've read. Today should be my day off and it is from running but I have a training session at the gym. So my mom was coming over after my run and so mentally I knew I'd run fast. My GPS managed to start when I did (I love that!) I did 3.0 miles exactly. Total time was 32:07 and my avg pace was 10:43. A sub-11 pace! I like that. I'd like that to be my new permanent pace. Normally I'm well in the 11's. But this is 2 runs with a sub-11. I like that. Here are the splits:

Now that is consistent! I'm happy with that!!!! Once I got in my groove I tried to keep the GPS around 10:48 as the avg. I would "think" I was slowing down and so that's how I actually ended up with a lower avg. But I'm really happy with those times! That's a consistent run. Now if I can commit that feeling to memory.

I slept like a freaking baby with the exception of like 5 trips to the bathroom. I didn't drink enough water Sunday after my run. I committed a sin and had soda that day. So I made up for it yesterday. My legs felts like jello all night. This morning it took great effort to move them. They were and still are very very tired. But it's a good feeling! No pain no gain!

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