Wednesday, April 30, 2008

SHAZAM - Finally breaking 10:00 min/mi pace!

Speed workouts - what are those? Certainly not something I've really been pushing on myself. I've noticed that my average pace in the past month tends to float somewhere between 10:30 and 11:00 min/mi, whether it's for a 3 mile weekday run or a 9 mile long weekend run.

So this morning I decided to focus on my speed during today's 3 mile run. I didn't really plan any formal speed workout like intervals or a fartlek or anything, I just wanted to push myself beyond a "comfortable" jog.

To help me with this, I left the iPod at home and just took the Garmin and off I went. Without tunes to distract me, I could really pay attention to my breathing and the rhythm of my feet and all that. I started off at a good pace but I avoided checking the numbers on my watch. It didn't feel like sprinting but I did wonder if I would be able to keep it up for the whole run.

Mile 1: 10:01

That felt about right. I tend to have a decent pace for the first mile and then sort of slow down from there.

For the second mile, I just tried to maintain the same pace. During this mile, there's a small hill that I go down in the first half and then back up during the second part. (I do an out-and-back run on the trail.)

I definitely slowed down when I went uphill but tried my best to recover quickly and get back on pace.

Mile 2: 9:51

Huh??? I was really surprised by this but then I figured that me flying down the hill helped make up the slack for the slower pace later on when I went up the hill.

So now I have one mile left and I'm thinking, hey, this is pretty cool - if I can just manage another ~9:50 mile, then I'll have a sub 30:00 time for my 3 mile run! Off I went, again just trying to focus on my breathing and maintaining pace. The effort was definitely a lot harder and my heart rate was sky high. And of course, the last mile seemed to take forever!

Once I noticed I had about 0.1 mi left, I picked it up even further. A quick glance at my watch told me that I should be able to finish in under 30:00 so I sprinted as best as I could to lock it in.

Finally - 3.0 miles! I hit stop and started the cool down. All I saw was that my final time started with a "2" so I was happy.

It wasn't until I was back home stretching that I decided to check out the digits.

Mile 3: 8:55

Total: 3.0 miles, 28:49, 9:36 pace

Say whaaaa??? I just wanted to finish with a 9:50 mile, I wasn't expecting a sub 9:00 mile! And to shave a whole minute / mile on my average pace is HUGE for me!

Anyway, in addition to my successful run this morning, I also took Spinning on Monday. I might squeeze in another quick run tomorrow morning but given that I have not packed yet for my red-eye flight tomorrow night and I have lots of work to wrap up before I depart, I'm guessing this might be it before the 5K and 15K this weekend.


Marcy said...

WHOOOO HOOOOOOO Looking AWESOME with that 8:55 last mile! GO AUDREY!!

Leah said...

That is great! Congratulations to you :)

Amanda said...

Great job! I would have had a heart attack with that speed! Think I will have to stick with swimming. ;)

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

nice work. does this mean that we dont get to run with the 11s at the nike runs?

audgepodge said...

Haha - well it wasn't exactly a conversational pace for me... so for group runs, I still might hang with the good ole 11's :)

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