Sunday, August 9, 2009

A bike ride and surprise run

Miles: 9.5
Pace: 11:54

Yesterday I was supposed to do a 9.5- or 10-mile long run in the morning before going to a co-worker's barbecue. Unfortunately, I got up late and didn't think that I had enough time for the full run, so I decided to give myself a rest, just going for a quick bike ride instead, and plan the run for today. I biked about 8.5 miles on the trail. It was another beautiful day.
After the barbecue, I got home and lazed around a bit before hopping online to plan today's run. Weather forecast? Rain and thunderstorms all day today. 95 degrees and humidity tomorrow. Uh, not really running weather, and I do NOT want to do any long runs on the treadmill. I looked at the clock and saw that if I got out the door ASAP, I'd be able to fit in the run before the sun set. So I mapped out a 9.5-mile course on G-Maps Pedometer, grabbed some Gatorade, and set out. It probably wasn't the best idea considering I ran my fastest 5K two days earlier and biked a pretty fast-paced 8.5 miles in the morning. But, I had had about 4 glasses of Coca-Cola at the barbecue, and I think I was powered by the caffeine.
As I ran, I thought I was going much slower than I usually do, but the pace comes out to be 11:54 per mile, which isn't too bad, considering I was shuffling up some steep hills, which I never have to contend with on my long runs on the trail.
Because it was so late, I wore my reflective vest, so I didn't feel too pressured to go faster than I was comfortable with, nor did I feel pressured to cut it short (I had mapped it out so that I could cut off about a mile and head home early if I needed to). I didn't need to, and by the end, I experienced the same second wind feeling I had gotten at the end of last week's long run, where I had lots of breath and ended strong.
The 9.5 miles brings last week's mileage to...20.1 miles! That's the first time I've reached 20, and I hope to keep it between 20 and 25 regularly. Yesterday notwithstanding, I think I've been working up to it safely. (I admit I probably overdid it yesterday, although I'm feeling good today.) I think that the increased mileage is a large part of why my 5K time has improved so much. I'll just have to remember not to overdo it too much.

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