breakthrough runs

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February 1, 2015 by scratchtype1

Despite catching a cold (one which still makes me blow out large amounts of congestion if I go outside into the cold or eat spicy food) and weather difficulties, I ran 132.3 miles in January. I closed the month out with a run yesterday that had somewhat sluggish legs, although in spite of those I averaged 9:37 pace over 4.1 miles.

The legs felt good some, almost snappish when I woke up today. I started off quite easy and then when I reached the turnaround and run back point, I decided to let the legs do what they wanted to do — run with some purpose. Not hard, not even comfortably hard which would get me to tempo pace, but somewhere slower than that. These are the splits that resulted:

1 — 9:32.21
2 — 9:30.86
3 — 9:24.89
4 — 9:29.03
5 — 8:39.77
6 — 8:35.14
7 — 8:39.04
.14 — 1:06.84

During the run, I thought about some things. When I started off and ran the first 5K in around 29:30, it made me remember the first time I went sub-30 in a 5K in July 2007. That was harsh then. I felt like I was dying during the last mile almost, just struggling not to lose too much pace. Today I just comfortably cranked that out.

Then came miles 5, 6, and 7. They were pretty comfortable. They weren’t exactly easy, but I wasn’t feeling very much like I was constantly having to stoke the fire harder to maintain that pace. That, along with the last .14 miles, means if I pull out the time for the last 5K from the Garmin data, I ran that last 5K in about 26:48, only 54 seconds off my 5K PR set back in October 2013.

I ran a 5K PR in April 2008 in a time of 27:06 or so. I remember that race well because of the last mile where a slightly chubby older guy caught up with me and settled in alongside me. He chatted some with me. He chatted, I mostly grunted. Then we reached the 3 mile marker sign and he said, “Let’s go break 27 minutes.” Off he went. I asked my legs for more and they had nothing, so I got to watch the slightly chubby old guy totally outkick me.

But now I guess all the miles and running since August 2013 have made me faster some. Exactly how much faster, I don’t really know. But it sure makes me smile some that I can now pretty much always go out and comfortably run 5K in under 30 minutes. That was my first huge goal of running, to break that time. Now I can just jog it pretty much if my legs aren’t over-fatigued or I’m sick.

And today’s run sure made up for the slogs I had when the cold was lingering and left me feeling weak.


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