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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Confidence booster

You know how all my recent runs have been about the speed of an octogenarian settling down into a church pew?
I have been pretty annoyed at that. I know I haven't been running and improving consistently for years, thanks to this endless injury thing, and I know over a full year of serious injury + surgery and recovery + more surgery and recovery = long time coming back, but I'm still shocked at how difficult everything has seemed.
My easy pace is well into the 8-min range (not recover pace, easy pace. My recovery pace is like 9:40, no lie).
I've failed several tempo attempts, quitting early or not hitting the pace or both.
Long runs that are actually short - like, ten miles - have felt insurmountably hard and required breaks to stagger around lowering my heart rate.

But you know what? I think part of it might be the high 90's I'm running in. And the stupidly high humidity. I had speed work scheduled for Tuesday, and it was an unbelievably cool day for August. I was actually excited to run - I couldn't wait to get out into that weather! I planned to do 8 440's, but realized at the end of the workout that I had done 9. I program my Garmin 305 when not at a track, and if anyone  has this model, you'll know that it tells you that you have one interval left when you don't. That "interval" is the cooldown. So it beeps after the last rest period and I start running thinking it's my last interval, and finally I look down at my Garmin and see that I've been running farther than 440...and I should have been done. Oh well. Anyway, I did 9 400's with a minute walk/jog in between.
AND IT WAS EASY. I ran 1:33's and 1:34's for the most part, which was actually faster than planned, but it felt like no sweat. Because there was no sweat. I was refreshed and could have done another 9! The difference the weather makes is really huge!

Hurray for being less out of shape than I thought!


  1. The heat can really do a number on your speed/perceived effort. It's nice when the heat slips away and you're faster than you thought!

    I was just thinking yesterday how my PR is almost four years old, and I haven't really improved since. I've been plagued with a variety of injuries over the years, and I do wonder what I could do with a solid training cycle.

  2. Patience... And always remember, all speed is relative. But yeah, the sooner we get to start running in the 50s/60s, the better!

  3. Um first of all ... I'll admit that I often have to google the definition of a word that seems to just role right off of your tongue ... today was one of those days. But I'm glad to hear you had a good run! I know exactly what you're talking about - a lot of times when I start getting back into shape, I seem to remember my conditioning and my speed from when I was at my peak, and then unrealistically compare myself to that time frame. I forget how hard it was to get to that point, and I think subconsciously expect to be able to just pick right back up at that point. Anyway, it looks like you're headed in the right direction.

  4. Ha, nice. You've been in NOLA how long and still get fooled by the heat? :) But yes, I know what it's like to come back from time off and not have anything to compare to.

  5. I hear you! I know it's not nearly as hot/humid here as it is in NOLA, but the heat and humidity we've had has really impacted me and made me question my goal for the marathon. But lately we've had some unseasonably cooler weather and running at faster pacers has felt a whole lot easier!

  6. NICE!! Given how our "hot" (ie not actually hot) summer has affected my pace, I'm going to go with yes, it's most likely been the heat.

  7. Nice run! It's great when it finally all comes together. It was bound to take a while for you to get back in to shape but the fear is always that you'll never be back to where you were before. I think you're well on your way.