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Monday, January 27, 2014

Some race left in my legs

Back in 2012, I ran that super hot Boston Marathon and could only slowly cover the course in 3:24ish. Later that week, I inexplicably ran ten miles at some pace near 6:40. I never run that fast. At the time, my 10k PR was a slower pace than that. There was no reason at all to run ten miles at 6:40! But I think that when your body is ready to race, and then you hold back, you end up with extra energy and speed to spend.
LRC's picture from last week: non-racing effort! 

That happened to me this weekend, following my pacing half last Sunday. I got up a little late for my Saturday run, and started out at what felt like a moderately easy pace. A few miles in, I saw a mile pop up with a "6" - but I felt good, and I kept running by feel. I kept an eye on my mile splits, but I missed about half of the beeps because I was listening to music, and the park is filled with loud flocks of migrating birds right now (ah, the south!).
But I clicked down to my average pace halfway through and it was like 7:10 or something. FAST for me right now. And when I got home, still feeling fresh as a daisy, I'd run 15 miles at 7:03 pace, and it felt like I was doing 8:03. 

Now, before I go reading too much into that time, this was what I'd call an "assisted" run: I had music, which I rarely ever use when I run, a Garmin, and I took a gel. I wouldn't normally take gel for a 15-mile run, but since I'm still building up, I didn't know what my body would be used to, and thought I'd take it to be on the safe side. Plus, I got up late, and I don't eat before I run, so I was worried about a fast bonk. I know the gel gave me a big speed boost, because look at my splits: 7:19, 7:14, 7:29, 7:10, 6:58, 7:03, 6:50, 6:59, 6:54, 6:59, 7:09, 7:00, 6:53, 6:57, 6:59

But still...I do have this half marathon this weekend. Originally I wasn't going to run Rock N Roll at all, opting for Louisiana instead. But now, I'm feeling good, oddly faster than I should be (uh, I haven't been wearing a Garmin for any of my runs, but I've been running a lot of short and easy!) and I already have a bib. Sounds like it's time for an emergency race plan!

Ever feel like you have built-up energy in your legs? When I do, I go ahead and get it out on my long run. If I don't, our track group meets on Monday nights and I might do something stupid there  :)  I've been back at the track for two weeks now, by the way!


  1. I'd say go without your Garmin, but take some GU. Run by feel, your body looks to know what it wants. Nothing wrong with "assisted" workouts. They make the training more enjoyable sometimes. I stopped running with music a while ago, but now, even when I put the music on, I can't remember any songs that I listened to. Have fun!!

  2. If you are feeling good to race you should go for it!! I would go easy all week though to make sure the legs are fresh. Good luck!!

  3. No, I do NOT ever feel like I have built up energy in my legs. lol It always seems to be right the opposite for me.

    1. Ha! I think that means you're racing right!

  4. I almost always have "left over" energy in my legs the week after a race. I wouldn't think it's that unusual since you didn't race, and only paced. And those are some great paces for your 15mi! Of course I'm gonna tell you to be careful racing too fast - but IF you're running 100% without pain (and not duping us all), I'd say put the hammer down girl. Strap on a nice bolo tie, and see what's what!

  5. Congrats! Love those sudden unexpected speed bursts. Run the race and enjoy it.

  6. Those runs when you feel good and the running is easy are few and far between for me but when I have them it's just magic. And to get them in a race - well that's a certain PB.

  7. Do it!!! (Also, if I can *ever* run 15 miles at that pace under any circumstances, I'll consider my life well spent. :) )