Tuesday had turned into quite a nice day, as my weeks tend to get busier towards the end I thought I'd bring my tempo run forward, and make the most of a bit of spare time and the good weather. Right after work I got my running kit on and set out - this time remembering to take a drink.
I set out at what was supposed to be a jog to warm up, but ended up 3/4 of a mile down the road and running at a 9 minute pace, this might have been a clue things weren't going to go quite to plan..
I've still not got the hang of tempo runs at all. The aim as I
understand it is to run at about 90% of your effort constantly for mile
after mile, that pushes up your ability to deal with lactic acid, and
allows you to keep going longer. Maybe it's just me, but even after about 18 months of fairly regular running I almost always run
out of breath long before I hit problems with lactic acid and burning muscles, I also prefer short fast runs to longer steady paced ones, as holding a long steady pace is the thing that really wears me down. As a preference I go for a burst of speed, then coast, and repeat. My cardio is getting better though, for about
a year all my runs were 95% effort, and when I got the Garmin it showed my my heart rate usually got up near 190.. I just didn't know better. Now I'm doing long runs around 150-160BPM.
Old habits die hard, and having not done much steady running in the past couple of weeks I set out too quick.. I was supposed to do 5 miles at 8:36 pace, which if I'm honest seemed a bit faster than I'd be comfortable with over that distance.
The first mile I ran an 8:04 average, and I burnt myself out pretty much hitting a wall just as I my watch beeped for mile 2. I kept going, but the pace just got slower and slower - by mile 4 the hip pain I've been experiencing on my long runs was back too, it always seems to come back when I run uphill, and this time I'd made an effort not to rotate my foot outwards. It really dragged after that, and I became frustrated that I can't work out what's causing the pain, or why it keeps coming back on my long runs. I really hope it doesn't get worse, or I'll be left doing 13 miles entirely on stubbornness.
I'm not sure how to feel about it all at the moment, on one hand I didn't do what I was supposed to against the plan, I felt like I was miles off the target, and completely missed the training goals. On the other I managed seven miles with only a day's break since having run nine - both further than I ever used to run in one go.. Also I didn't need to stop, and for such a warm day I didn't make bad time. The only thing I can do right now is keep on pushing.
This half marathon stuff is harder work than I imagined, the kind of things you can dismiss on a two mile run just get amplified over a ninety minute one. I probably shouldn't admit it, but right now I'm quite looking forward to getting the race done and being able to go back to my old routine of a couple of 2-3 mile fast runs in the week, the occasional flat out sprint simply for fun, and a 'long' 5 or 6 miles on a Sunday.
46 Days to go...
Total Distance 7.39mi
Duration - 1:08:32 (Full mile spilt times: 08:04, 09:09, 08:57, 09:28, 09:58, 10:25)
Avg Pace 9:16 min/mi