Running is Becoming Routine
Thursday, October 10, 2013
It's Thursday, a work at home day and a day to run on the lunch break. The weather cooperated, giving me hazy sunshine and a 6 mph SW wind at a temperature of 58° F. I set out to just run easy, without trying to run slowly. Ran the same familiar route as Tuesday, with three little hills in the first half of the route.
RunKeeper reported the effort as 4.30 miles in 30:53, for an average pace of 7:11 per mile. The mile splits were 7:31, 7:14, 7;00, 7:00, and a reported 7:10 pace for the last 0.30 mile. Looking at the terrain, the first mile ends not quite all the way up the first little hill. The top of the third little hill is at 2.1 miles. So this is the familiar phenomenon of speeding up after I go over the first hill. I'm thinking this pace is right about where I want to be for a run on the lunch hour right now. I can run faster, and did on Tuesday; but this was a comfortable pace for the distance. And my feet were fine with appropriate post-run care.
This is becoming routine. Since starting to run continually, I've run 4.48 miles on Saturday, 4.32 on Tuesday, and 4.30 today. That feels sustainable, but of course Mr. Testosterone would like me to expand on this. Well, let me think about that.
Three runs in the past 7 days add up to about 13 miles. That's up a little from about 12 miles I was doing in walk/run intervals in a week. I am mindful of the fact that the feet are not yet 100%, and I don't want to set the progress back. So how much do I really want to expand the running in the coming week?
The weekday runs won't expand much. I've been putting about as much time into running at lunch as fits. To go to a routine 35 or 40 minute run would require running in the evening or getting up earlier and changing the morning routine to accommodate a pre-dawn run. While either of those would be a possible training adjustment to build for a half marathon, this is not the time to make that adjustment.
The weekend can expand in two ways, by running longer or by adding a day. I don't think I'm brave enough to go to running 4 days a week just yet, so next week's increment comes down to how far or how long I'll run on whichever weekend day I run.
I've only got three real runs under my belt. Better keep the increment modest. Tentative plan: On Saturday or Sunday, run my standard winter route around the section to the west. That's 4.6 miles, and I can add distance near the end if that doesn't feel like enough. It doesn't have an opportunity to cut the distance short like the neighborhood route I've been running; but three runs over 4 miles have convinced me I won't need to bail out before 4 miles.
So, that's the plan. Feed Mr. Testosterone the more significant hills on the run around the section to the west on the weekend. Try to hold the pace down around a 7:30 mile, in preparation for doing true long runs later on. If I want to run 35 minutes, that would mean I wouldn't need to add very much extra distance to the planned route.
And write this blog so I can keep track of my thinking and plan. When the feet feel almost normal, there's more danger of trying to do too much than of being a slacker.
Then there's the 5K a week from Saturday. It's a short distance, compared to what I'm running just to run. Hmm. Do I keep running after I cross the finish line? Or do I take the shorter distance from the 5K as an opportunity to start running Saturdays and Sundays that weekend? I'll have to think about that for a while, and see how the feet progress over the next week.
Life is good.