Saturday, July 9, 2011

Training for New York City Marathon Week #1: Saturday Pace Run

9:09.  That's the pace I'm trying to hit for all the Saturday runs from Week 1 to Week 18.  9:09 minutes per mile will take me to my 4:00 marathon goal.  But it was a lot harder than I thought. For my effort today I will give myself a C+.

Before I headed out, I was trying to look up how this race pace is supposed to be run.  Hal said 5 miles, but is that including the one mile warm up and one mile cooldown, which meant running race pace for only 3 miles? Or am I suppsed to run it 5 at race pace and no warm up because yesterday was a rest day? Couldn't find the answer.

The weather here on the Coast was fabulous at 54 degrees, cool perfect running conditions.I didn't wear any fuelbelt because this was a quick 5 miler and I want to run it without stuff around my waist weighing me down.  I had on two layers one long sleeves shirt and short sleeves on top of that and a capris.  Why am I telling you this? It's really for me, so that I can remember what to wear next time.  I don't usually pay attention to what I wore and what worked. Now I know two layers was too much. It felt just right on the get go, that meant I was going to be too warm in it, but I was too eager to get the show on the road. But for next time, if it's 54 degrees, I can go with shorts and a long sleeves. It's good to practice to test what you're hoping to wear, use, apply on race day. It's not just about running.  But I digress back to the pace run.

I had my Garmin set up for 1/2-mile auto lap. That way I can see halfway from the mile, how much to adjust the pacing as needed. It was tough to do. I ran in my neighborhood, which has hills and gentle rollers. My mile splits were: 9:08 / 8:40 / 8:39 / 8:57 / 8:39.   I knew flat running wouldn't be a choice, but I would have preferred that so that I could have honed in on the pace easier. The first mile I surprised myself. I was only a second off.  But the hills came and threw me off the rest of the workout. I anticipated the slow down and I got over excited. Subconsciously I'm still trying to put cushion when I don't need to.  Pacing is challenging. This is going to be my goal for these Saturday pace runs.  Be able to know how it feels to run a 9:09 on fresh legs and at the same time know how it feels to run it on fatigue legs and maintain it. I'll have to remember that in the next 17 Saturdays to come.

When all was said and done, my average pace today was 8:49.  That was 20 seconds faster than what I was supposed to do and I know I will pay for it tomorrow. Looking forward to tomorrow's 10-miler and my hope is, to run it within 30-90 seconds slower, so about 9:39 to 10:39 pace. This equates to about 75% effort which is moderate. This slow run is supposed to be a dress rehearsal for the big dance. Right now it is still on the lower mileage but it will gradually get longer. I'm learning patience here as well.  How about that?

Happy Running!

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