Cool Breezes and Easy Running

At some point, the power went out last night.  It was around 3:00 am.  I was a little worried I wouldn’t be up for my run, but I still managed to be out of bed at 6:00 and out the door before 7:00.  We had gotten our power back, but much of the rest of the street hadn’t.  Without the street lights, It was very dark and I couldn’t see much as I started my warmup.  I could hear random voices, though and I suddenly got worried about being mugged on my own street.

As I made my way through the neighborhood, I found that the street lights were out, and the grocery store was closed.  It was pitch black until I made my way to the start of my run.  Suddenly, I had street lights again.  With my sunglasses in my hand, I pressed start on my Garmin and started with a slow jog.

My plan this morning is to start off slowly to see if I can get through 7 miles with only two walks breaks.  I glance at my Garmin under every streetlight in the first mile and keep myself at a pretty steady pace in the high 10’s.  I pass the 1 mile mark in 10:52 – about a minute slower than last week, but about as I’ve planned.  My heart rate is still in the high 140s and I’m feeling like I could continue at thispace forever. 

I cruise through the neighborhood and over a bridge.  I’m running along the water now and there’s a stiff headwind coming off the bay.  At first I’m a bit digruntled, but I tell myself that this will be a tailwind on the way back and then focus on putting one foot in front of the other.  I round a corner and run along a road.  A line of trees stands between me and the bay and they block the wind.  I pass the two mile mark in 22:15. 

By the time I reach the water fountain, I’m still feeling very good.  I don’t feel like I need a break, but this is the planned location, so I stop for water and walk for a minute.  My heart rate lowers down to 138 during the walk and I start to jog again.  I pass the 3 mile mark in 32:30.  My pace has started to pick up and I still feel good.

The turnaround at 3.5 miles comes pretty quickly.  I look at my Garmin, immediately turn and continue jogging.  I reach the 4 mile mark in 42:22.  I’m starting to gain back some of the time I’ve lost by starting out slowly.  I reach the water fountain again, take a drink and walk for another minute.  So far, so good.

I continue running along the other side ofthe bayfront park on a paved trail.  Now, I’m right on the water and the strong crosswind makes life a little difficult.  My pace had pciked up again.  I’m averaging about 9:30 at this point.  I tell myself to slow down, but I can see a left turn ahead that will turn this crosswind into a tailwind and getting there quickly is sounding pretty nice.  I reach the turn and slow my pace, but now the wind is actually pushing me forward.  That’s a good thing.  I reach the 5 mile mark in 52:25.

I cross the bridge and back into the shelter of tall trees in the neighborhood.  I’m still running at a steady pace and not struggling at all.  I have begin to notice that the top of my foot is hurting.  That’s a scary thought, but I remember that it usually hurts more when I’m walking, so I just keep running.  I figure if I’ve injured it, I’m already screwed so I may as well get home as fast as possible – and that means running.  I’m pretty sure that’s bad logic, but it seems to work for the moment.  I pass the 6 mile mark in 62:25.

I know I’m going to make the whole distance without another break now.  I still feel good and I’ve only got a mile to go.  I’m still running about 9:30 now.  When I run another half mile, I pick the pace up a bit.  Once I can see the finish, I crank up the pace, running at 7:45 pace.  I hit 7 miles in 72:33.

Planned workout

1 mile warmup

7 miles at 10:05 pace

 1 mile cool down

Actual workout

1 mile warmup

7 miles at 10:21 pace

1 mile cool down

The strategy was different this week, but the pace was about the same.  I was 3 seconds per  mile slower this week compared to last week.  Still given that my past runs have been heavy pn walk breaks near the end, one could argue that that strategy would have led to an extra walk break in this week’s extra mile.  In any case, this week’s run sure felt a lot better.

 16 weeks to go.

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