So here are the highlights from these past two weeks of running. Overall, they've been awesome as I've really tried to push myself lately. I ended up doing all three of the weekly Nike club runs - Wednesday and Saturday in SF, and Sunday in the east bay - all locations that are pretty much an hour from my home. So the driving part is kind of annoying but it's been so fun to run with my friends and hundreds of other runners.
Two Wednesdays ago - Niketown, Union Square
Normally, I avoid the weekday run in SF but I had about four friends or so heading to Niketown that evening so I couldn't miss the chance for a fun evening run with my buddies. Now as I may have mentioned before, I typically like to run at a more "leisurely" / conversational pace during group runs - usually the 11:00 min/mi pace group. But since I couldn't find them (turns out they were waiting on a different floor), my friend and I just joined in at the tail end of the 10:00 group. I figured they would eventually take off without us but since I was with my buddy, it wouldn't really matter.
But amazingly enough - I was able to stick with them. My Garmin took a while to get a satellite but when it did, I saw we were doing better than 10:00 minute miles! And for me, I typically only hit 9:xx paces when I'm in race mode so this was pretty exciting.
We did 4 miles total but Garmin only logged the second half:
2:04 miles at 9:21 pace
Two Saturdays ago - Marina, SF
I ran 10 miles with the 11:00 pace group and I was pretty pleased because we actually managed to get under our target pace this time, even with all the hills!
10.10 miles at 10:57 pace
Two Sundays ago - East Bay
Although the Sunday Nike runs are flatter than the routes in SF, it's usually a *lot* hotter. I'm not sure which is worse for me. Anyway, I only wanted to do 4 miles but the shortest course that was offered was 6 miles so I ran the first two with the 10:30 group and then turned around and came back to the start. The first two were kind of slow:
At this point, I said my good-byes to the group and headed back on my own. I wasn't really trying to push myself to run faster, I think I was just anxious to get back and eat and stuff - haha. It was pretty hot at this point, so I was really surprised when I saw this:
So I decided to push myself a little further:
I couldn't believe how well I was doing since it was a pretty warm morning! And I know this sounds dumb, but I kept hearing a loop of the Olympics theme song in my head while I was running. Maybe that was what was motivating me to push myself :)
At the 4 mile mark, I looked at my Garmin and noticed my average pace was just over a 10:00 pace. Being the numbers geek that I am, I thought to myself, I know I can finish under a 10:00 pace! So I kept on running (pass the start with all the water and goodies and stuff!) until I did just that.
0.28 mi: 2:12 (8:00 pace!)
Total: 4.28 mi at 9:58 pace
This past Wednesday - Niketown, Union Square
I had a relatively quiet day at work that day so I decided to head on up to SF again. I really like having these pace groups to push myself (at least for the short runs) so I decided to stick with the 10:00 group again.
It was tough - especially when trying to make conversation with people and stuff. I actually kind of lagged behind a bit during the halfway point but finally caught up with my group toward the end. It was also fun because I randomly ran into my cousin during the run - that was a fun surprise!
Anyway, Garmin again struggled with picking up satellite so I didn't get the complete run again. Out of the 4 total miles, Garmin recorded the following:
2.84 miles at 9:14 pace
Saturday (Yesterday) - Marina, SF
This was actually a pretty uneventful run. I needed to be quick because I had plans with my friends that afternoon so I did four miles with the 10:00 group. I actually only did the first mile and a half with them and then did the rest on my own (their routes again were 6 miles or longer). It was kind of hard to push myself on this run but I still managed to finish under a 10:00 pace:
4 miles at 9:45 pace
Sunday (Today) - East Bay
Today I was very excited to have my friend SG join me for my 6 mile run with the 10:30 group. We went on the Iron Horse trail and then through some nice neighborhoods. It was a bit warm and the route had some rolling hills here and there but we still finished at a pretty decent pace, although a bit under the 6 mile target:
5.64 miles at 10:19 pace
So that's it for now. Hopefully, I will be a bit better at more promptly updating my blog. My first half marathon of the season is this weekend at Disneyland. Goal for the race: Have fun! I'd like to approach this one as a "fun run" and take pics with the characters and stuff which I missed out on during the Disney World marathon.