Got up early Saturday morning and hit the track for a nice run. I did 7 miles and kept an average pace of 13 minutes per mile. That seems to be my sweet spot in running. The way I do it at the track is jog two laps, walk one lap, then repeat. It seems to be working as I’m not getting out of breath or tired. I should be able to keep that up for much longer distances (which is the idea). The first two laps this morning were killer though. My left knee was hurting a little every time I took a step so I had to shift my weight and take smaller steps and my calves felt like they were going to explode. I was messing with my pacing to see if it would relieve some of the pressure but it didn’t seem to work at first. I was moving very slow. I thought to myself that I was running like an old lady which was fitting since I’ve been told the hat I wear when running is an “old lady hat.”
Then an old lady passed me which was a little embarrassing.
“ON YOUR LEFT!”
I remember reading that some of the best ultrarunners in the world are older women so then I didn’t feel too bad because for all I know she just came back from a win at Leadville. I guess the reason why older people (men and women) are so good is because they are more patient. They know that slow and steady wins the race. Younger people, especially guys, like to go charging through races thinking that the faster they go, the faster they’ll finish but what usually happens is they burn themselves out. I’ve seen it happen to my brothers a few times and it’s happened to me too.
I jogged my first two laps, then walked the third lap, and when I started jogging the fourth lap that’s when everything started to warm up. My calves went back to normal and my knee stopped hurting so I was able to pick up a really good jogging stride and the walks were nice moments to recharge. Once I hit my groove and all my muscles warmed up I started having fun on this run. I started stretching out my legs and gliding over the track. I’m not a very graceful runner so I probably wasn’t really gliding but I felt pretty good. I kept repeating to myself something I’d heard Dean Karnazes say was the secret to running far, “head up, back straight, keep moving forward.” (That’s the way I was repeating it to myself but the actual quote is “puff out your chest, put one foot in front of the other, and don’t stop until you reach the finish line.”)
It’s easy to keep this pace on the track because it’s a simple pattern to remember (jog 2, walk 1, repeat). I haven’t tried this out on the road yet but I think it’s gonna end up being a pattern of jogging for five minutes, walk for five minutes, repeat. A 13 minute mile is pretty much where I want to stay during the 100 mile races I have coming up. A average pace of 16 minutes per mile is the absolute slowest that I can travel in order to make the cut off times. If I keep it up with my running training I don’t see any reason why I can’t finish my races.
I had a pretty good week running-wise. Didn’t get to the gym even once this week and my diet was pretty crappy this weekend. Time to stop messing around. Will get back in the weight room this week and back on track with the macros and clean-eating.
2 more weeks until the weight loss contest ends at work.
17 weeks until Tough Mudder.
24 weeks until the Born to Run 100 mile Ultramarathon.
11 months until EC100.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!