Thursday, November 17, 2011

run slow = run faster

I posted earlier this week about my treadmill run and how hard it is for me to go slow, especially on the treadmill.

Slow runs are important for multiple reasons.  Slow runs make you run faster.  Just like sleep begats sleep in babies.

My belief in slow runs was solidified on Tuesday.  I may not like them, but I do believe in them.

This week's speedwork called for tempo miles at 9:34.  Since my daughter had surgery this week, I did my speedwork on Tuesday before my next few days were devoted to her.  I confess, a lot of my speedwork has been on the treadmill, or at the park loop which is about .4 miles around.

But I decided I just needed to hit the streets and see what I could pull off.  One of the main reasons I've done so much speedwork on the 'mill and at the park is because I didn't have a Garmin and it's not too easy to track pace using the Nike+.  But now that the lovely Garmin graces my wrist, I have no excuses.

I had about 45 minutes to run, so I decided I'd warm up for a half mile or so and then speed up.  I think my warm up was more like .6 or .7 miles because it took a bit for the Garmin to pick up a satellite signal (always happens when I don't turn it on while I'm getting ready).  It felt like it took forever to get my pace down.  But I kept pushing it, focusing on small quick steps with my feet and pumping my arms.  I finally got to a mid-9 pace and thought "this isn't so bad, I can do this."

My husband drives the car I had when we got married.  It's a lovely blue 1998 Saturn SL-2.  It's paid for.  I bought the car used while we were dating, mostly because it was the nicest vehicle in my price range and had super low mileage.  The Saturn isn't a speedy car. But she's pretty consistent.  One of my best friends got married a few months before me and four of us drove my Saturn to Vegas for a girls weekend before our weddings.  

There are some long inclines as you drive from San Diego to Vegas.  My friends nicknamed my car "Connie Constant" because if you got her to a 60-70 mph speed as you started an incline, she'd stay there.  But if you were going slower--there was no way she'd pick up any speed while you were climbing.

I'm learning that this is my running style too.  My body loves that 10 minute mile.  Lately, my "natural pace" seems even slower since I'm doing so many long, slow runs.  But when I can get my body going, those faster paces aren't too bad and I actually maintain them.

Tempo Mile Splits

Mile 1- 9:30, yahooo---below my goal pace of 9:34

Mile 2- 9:18, not sure what got into my legs, but I actually kept dialing back a bit because I kept
speeding up.  There was some downhill the first part of this mile, but even with small inclines later my pace was smokin'.

Mile 3- 9:36, this mile had a lot of short stretches, turns, and corners which always mess up my groove and I was feeling the speed a bit too!

Mile 3.5- 9:04 pace, took advantage of a big downhill and just booked it to the end!

This run seriously boosted my confidence.  I was running without music and it gave me an opportunity to think about my speed and realize that if I can just get up to my desired pace, it's not so hard to stay there.

Another reason I love my Garmin.  Seeing the mile pace helps me so much--I know when to speed up, I know when to slow down.

With every run, I believe in myself more.