Saturday, March 24, 2007

Even if I’m not going to run the Cleveland Half Marathon….

I can still prepare. Besides, you never know when a good race might just pop up in your neighborhood. And sometimes you can just make your own.

I woke up this morning without even the slightest urge to run. It was foggy outside and expected to rain for hours and hours on end. I felt cold and tired and blah, blah, blah. But I’ve adopted my “don’t think about it, just do it” philosophy, particularly with swimming, without any attribution to Nike, thank you very much. So, I toiled over how to dress for the weather (as always, I overdressed with a fleece), made a deal with Neil to meet me near his junk food store, and headed out the door.

When I chose my 10-mile iPod workout setting, I thought, “well, I can set it at ten and see how far I actually go.” Ten miles later I was glad I did.

Today I ran the route I rode my bike last season, which I thought was long, tiring and uber-hilly. And as I cruised through it, I began to doubt a) my shape last year and b) my cycling abilities. The hills were harsh, but I didn’t feel the same agonizing burn I got when I rode my bike. So, I began thinking that I should really get back to bike training and hope that the pain was more a product of my out-of-shapiness than my ineptitude in bike-riding. I’m still dealing with this running thing!

As I previously mentioned, I’m trying to pick up my pace. And I realized something about myself today: I can run faster than my 9-minute St. Malachi miles! I really listened to my body and paid attention to pace this time and realized that whether my body gets tired, I’m likely to settle into a slower pace and never go back. So, whenever I felt exhausted or tired, I just picked it up a notch.

Yes, I thought about my 200-yard fly sets and was able to maintain a 7:37/mile pace for my first 10-mile run.

My last five miles were all around 7:30 (but the first couple miles were a little pokey). In fact, as I was finishing up mile 10, I passed a couple out for a walk and the guy said, “Hey, great pace!” Now that was nice to hear!

And I only found it a little strange that my casual, yet considerably more-hilly Saturday morning run was not only double my St. Malachi run, but generally faster. I realize that I didn’t actually “race” that run (my goal was to just finish!). But if I wouldn’t have slunk into that sub-G pace, I could have premiered in far snazzier fashion!

So, I met up with Neil at our designated spot. He stood outside the store holding a big jug of Gatorade—the one thing in the world I needed at that moment. I had long been paranoid about hydration (especially since my couple of bad instances with dehydration), but I made sure I had been thoroughly hydrated over the past several days, as well as this morning, and felt fine throughout the run (thanks for the advice Salty One!).

It took me a little over an hour twenty to run the 10 miles, so I was really great on the hydration front. Plus, it was damp outside (and, oh, the puddles!) and maybe 45-50 degrees. But I was glowing with accomplishment!

My feet, however, were sore after the run—to be expected. But my shoes might be looking forward to retirement as much as I am. Melissa gave me a little bit of lowdown on running shoes the other day and warned that mine might need to be replaced (I don’t quite remember when I bought them, but it was probably around… July?). They were my first pair of running shoes since about 1993, and I was wearing those 1993 shoes when I first started running last spring. It was no surprise when I had some serious foot problems. I’d like to not make that same mistake this time around.

But what shoes to get? Which shoes are on your feet?


miss petite america said...

damn! it takes me twice as long to put in that kind of mileage! you're a rock star chica.

as for shoes, i'm a brooks adrenaline girl. but who knows what kind of shoes they'll fit you in at the running store...have fun shopping!

Joe said...

> Yes, I thought about my 200-yard fly
> sets and was able to maintain a
> 7:37/mile pace for my first 10-mile run.

Wowzers, Girlfriend, that's fast for a training run.

> But what shoes to get? Which shoes are on your feet?

Go to a real running store, one that will do at least a cursory gait analysis. They will evaluate you for one of three types of shoes: neutral, stability or motion control. After that, you will then need to decide on brand. Myself, I'm partial to ASICS.

Charlie said...

You are very fast. Should be a fun season for you with many breakthroughs.

I never worry about shoe brand. Go to a good running store let them decide what type of shoe you need. Pick the pair that feels right to you. Ask for last seasons leftovers for a good deal.