I ran this morning. I probably shouldn't run before my first cup of coffee. It causes me to forget to engage my brain in important decisions.
Like the decision to turn an upbeat, brisk little 3-mile tempo run into an all-out 5K race with myself.
I woke up to the roaring of ocean waves, thanks to a nifty new alarm clock Hubster bought last week. (Our old alarm clock still works beautifully, but both of us had learned to sleep right through it.) I was so tired this morning. Didn't want to run. But I got up anyway and made it to the gym for 6:00.
Today's running assignment: 3-mile tempo run. I've begun "tapering," according to my training program, which has me cutting back on my miles during the two weeks before the half-marathon.
I don't like to taper. I am feeling so strong when I run these days. Maybe I'm nearing (or at) my "peak" for this training season. I don't know. But I was full of energy this morning. After a brisk one-mile warm-up around the indoor track, I hopped onto the treadmill for a run with my morning news.
I pushed myself. For the first half-mile, I averaged about 6.5 mph (I can never remember the minutes-per-mile number). Now, if I'd stayed at 6.5 mph for all three miles, it would have been the kind of run I'd planned to run.
But I felt so strong, so energetic, after the first mile that I upped my speed. I slowed down a little bit at 1.5 miles, to about 6.2 mph, the slowest speed of the run. Then, at 2.0 miles, I went back up to 7.0 mph ... and inched my way up to 7.5 on the tenth-of-a-mile marks. At 2.5, I slowed to 6.8, then sped up a bit more, and finished my "5K" in 27:03.
I felt great. I was tired, but I felt great! My race PR for 5Ks is 27:11, which means I ran faster than my race PR! And I was running caffeine- and Gu-free! 27:03 translates to an average of 6.9 mph, or 8:43 min/mi for a 3.1-mile run. That's fast. For me at least, that's fast. I know some treadmills say that you've run faster/farther than you really have, so maybe it wasn't that fast, but that's OK.
I may well beat my 27:11 race PR this weekend.
After a cool-down walk/run and 10 minutes of stretching, I headed for the showers, and then to work.
I'm running a 5K race on Saturday, then a 10-mile long run on Sunday. Then I'm going to take it very easy next week. My half-marathon is only a week and a half away!
I just re-read this post. I used words and phrases like "tempo," "taper," "cutting back on my miles," "peak," "training season," "brisk one-mile warm-up," "PR," and "my half-marathon."
I guess this means I'm really, truly, officially a runner now, if I wasn't already. :)