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Pace Yourself

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The other night/morning/whatever, when I was at the time change race, I kept watching these people cross the finish line with these incredible times. 16, 17, 18 minutes. I was amazed.

I know I'll probably never have a time close to those, but it did make me want to improve my own PR. Right now, my best 5K is at 29 minutes - not terrible, but not great either. My new goal is to get it down around 27, running about a 9 minute mile. I think it's doable and can hopefully help me with my other goal: getting my half time to around 2:10.

So, today, at the gym, I went in for my pace run with the new goal in mind. I have to admit that pace runs are my absolute favorite. It's the time when I really get to push myself, to go above my average speed. I love the adrenaline rush of going past my comfort zone, the feeling of getting faster with each stride.

What I don't like is that I'm kind of dumb about pacing myself on my own. If I try to do my pace runs in my neighborhood, I end up running like I am part human/ part cheetah for about ten seconds, slowing down at about 15 seconds, gasping for breath like I'm suffering an asthma attack by 30 seconds, walking for the next minute/minute and a half, picking back up my easy pace, and not doing any more speed runs. This happens every dang time, even if I'm looking at my phone, staring at my time and pace. Call me stupid, but for some reason, I just can't hit the proper pace when I'm working on speed.

To solve my dilemma, I head for the treadmill. Only, it's incredibly boring. I honestly don't think God intended for us to run in place, making no forward movement, particularly not for 45 minutes at a time. But I do it anyways. I push through because I want to meet some kind of crazy goal. All I can say is that I am very thankful for Good Morning America and Regis and Kelly. They were my sanity this morning.

And I'm also thankful for those burst of speed. Like I said, pace runs are my favorite runs. Even though the 20 minute easy run that leads up to the little peaks in my run is incredibly boring, the 10 minutes where I'm interval-ling my top speed with my easy speed passes in the blink of an eye. And those five 6.7 mph runs flew by.

So what's the difference? Maybe it's the break up in the repetition, the change in the routine. It sure is a lot easier to see the end to a minute than to 1/3 of an hour.

But I think it's more than that. I think each of those minutes is one step closer to my goal, and I can feel that as I'm pushing past my normal. I can tell by how I'm sweating harder that I'm really working for what I want. Yeah, easy runs are great for the peace they provide me, the time alone to think. But pace runs, they provide me achievement, results. They are where I show my drive to improve, my want for something more.

I did 5 minutes today at 6.7 miles per hour. That's over half a mile. It doesn't seem like a whole lot, especially knowing so many people are so much faster than me, but if I'm going to get to 3.1 in 27 minutes, it seems like the perfect place to start.

(Note: this is the latest copy of my blog, where I am tracking my journey to my third Disney half marathon. Follow me at http://disneyrunnerchick.blogs
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DNS9264
    Of course! :)
    2387 days ago
    Keep sparking!
    2387 days ago
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