3 and out

Given my shin splint problem this week, I was unsure of what to do for my Saturday run. I started feeling better after my toe raise exercises and a day of rest. I decided to give 6 miles a go, but I planned the route in such a way that I could easily shorten my run to three miles if necessary.

I woke up before 8 and I was out the door at around 8:15. Hopefully this would make the run a little cooler than last week’s 7 miler.

I arrive at the mall parking lot and park the car. Stepping back to the trunk, I don all my equipment – my hat, my mp3 player, my camelbak, my new Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS and heart rate monitor. I feel a little like “robo-runner”, but I’m excited about the new data I’ll be able to collect. I hit the trail, heading north for a 1 mile warm up walk.

The sun is just slightly lower in the sky than last week, but it’s enough to cast some pretty long shadows over the trail. My heart rate hangs between 90 and 100 BPM for the first half mile. I quicken my pace slightly for the second half mile and my heart rate jumps to about 105 BPM. After fiddling with the Garmin for a few seconds, I figure out how to reset it and I’m off.

Heading south down a 3/4 mile straightaway, I monitor my pace and heart rate every few seconds. It doesn’t take long for my heart rate to jump to 145 BPM and my average pace is 7:45. I slow things down to about 8:50 pace and continue on past the first mile. I notice that my heart rate is averaging between 165 and 175 BPM. I’ve never had experience measuring my heart rate while running before. This rate is higher than anything I’ve measured while on the stationary bike.

The next half mile takes me around a wide, sweeping curve and up the incline of a pedestrian bridge. I know from my route plan that the 1.5 mile mark is somehwere at the top of the bridge. Thanks to my new Garmin, I don’t have to guess. My heart rate has been between 90%-95% of my theoretical maximum for the last .5 mile. I hit the 1.5 mile mark, turn around, walk for two or three steps, then jog back down the pedestrian bridge. When I hit the 2 mile mark, I take a quick water break.

I walk for about 30 seconds, sipping water the whole way. I tuck the water tube back into the camelbak and begin running again. After another 1/4 mile I come to a roadway with some busy traffic. I have to stop for a moment to let some cars pass. I walk across the street and start running on the other side. I run the last 3/4 mile back to the car and start my 1 mile cool down.

Planned Workout

1 mile warmup

3 miles or 6 miles at 9:00 pace

1 mile cool down

Actual Workout

1 mile warmup

3 miles at 9:21 pace

1 mile cool down

My shins felt pretty good during the workout, but I could feel a lot of tightness in my left calf, so I decided to be happy with my run and cut things short.  My hope is that I’ve avoided further injury and I’ll be able to complete all of my workouts next week.  I’m also a little concerned with where my heart rate was.  In effect, this run was more of a tempo run than the long endurance run it was supposed to be.    I’m giving some serious thought to the re-evaluation of my training plan up to this point.  I think that the paces I’ve set for myself as part of the FIRST 10K plan are too ambitious for this stage of my training.  I don’t know if I’m going to stick with the same plan and make my the paces slower, or switch to a whole different plan altogether.

 3 weeks in the books, 26 more to go.

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