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Friday, May 13, 2011

Too Fast, Too Early

Little tip: if you're going to do a pace run, do it at pace.

And not in a Texas afternoon.

I've been in a bit of a mood for about 24 hours. I was disappointed with something last night, and that carried over to today. When I woke up this morning, right on time, I headed into the living room for some core work before I hit the road. I laid down on my newly acquired exercise mat (thank you, yard sales) and let my arms stretch out before I began the work.

Then I woke up twenty minutes later. Awesome.

Realizing that my body was not into it this morning, I curled back up in bed for a little while more. As much as I like getting up on time, and I really do, trying to establish a new sleep schedule in the midst of what are essentially 13-hour work days is not the healthiest of choices. You have to listen to your body, and mine was telling me to sleep.

So, I started my work day, but I was in a funk pretty much the entire time. I figured that if I did something else to occupy my mind, it would go away, but instead it just got deeper. By the time afternoon rolled around, I was in a thoroughly discouraged state. I'd wanted to write a post yesterday about my research for Seattle, but the Blogger site was down for an extended period of time. I wasn't being as productive in work as I needed to be, and really everything came down to one major issue.

I needed to run.

My body has acclimated to motion and activity, and when I don't get it done early in the morning, my day feels like it never really started. I took my lunch break to do some lifting out on the patio, and then spent twenty minutes getting myself psyched up to go for a run. I was starting to feel queasy, and eventually I just had to say, "No. Don't think. Just get out there." Without another pause, I headed out the door.

It felt nice out, but I knew it would get really warm quickly. Today was scheduled to be a marathon pace run, meaning that I shoot for the same time every mile, or at least to average what I want to run on race day. I picked a pace time slightly faster than the fastest mile I hope to run in Seattle, and as I headed down the hill, I was focused on keeping that pace. At two miles, I was one minute ahead. Not good. I tried slowing down to the pace over the next couple miles, but as my mile markers are a little vague, I wasn't quite sure what my exact times were.

The one thing I did know was that it was too fast. I took a quick water break around the halfway point, and would take two more before I was done. In the mid-afternoon in Texas, the sun is directly above, meaning that there was almost no shade on my path. Still, despite the fact that I was exhausted, I didn't have any pain. None. Not even as I drove myself up the final hill, out of breath, sweating buckets, and finishing 2.5 minutes ahead of pace. Though I was mad at myself for not keeping to my plan, I couldn't help but celebrate the time.

So, did I learn anything today? Let's see. I learned to slow the heck down, and the whole thing should be much easier. My pace today was 25 seconds per minute faster than my planned fastest mile on race day, so if I can do that for eight, I should be able to slow it down for longer. I learned that old people don't like being yelled at for their driving, even when they almost kill two people by blowing through a red light. Actually, they might just not have heard me. And I learned that the frat boy look of plaid shorts and yellow polo shirt (popped collar) apparently works as running attire for some people. Apparently.

Not much, really.

Friday's Run:
84 Degrees / Sunny
8.11 Miles
55 Minutes, 23 Seconds

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