Saturday, March 30, 2013

When walking the walk turns out spectacularly

On Friday night, I was discussing weekend workout plans with Regina, a member of our "running club." The club hadn't met in several weeks, thanks to various people's out-of-town trips, and she was ready for us to revive it.

Except I'd already made plans to go on a bike ride. I urged her to run Saturday instead; she countered with the wet weather forecast.

"So just run faster. Like my dad said to me before, 'Are you made of sugar?' " A pause, then I confessed: "Sometimes I am made of sugar, though."

Still, that moment of bluster fluttered around my brain as I slowly woke up Saturday morning to the sounds of water dripping off something -- was it current rain, or past rain falling off the roof?

Regardless, it didn't sound ominous enough for me to spend my free half-hour doing household chores instead of running while retaining any self-respect. The plan to attempt a fast three-miler, to gauge my preparation for next weekend's Friendly Sons of St. Patrick 5K, was still on.

And thank God shame, or even the threat of it, is such a powerful motivator. It wasn't raining during my sprint, though it was more humid than I like, and the air felt pleasantly brisk on my legs (yay shorts!).

Most importantly, I notched some impressive numbers that have me feeling optimistic (too optimistic?) about this upcoming 5K PR attempt. I'm trying not to build myself up too much on here and inside my head, because race day is always a wild card, but no matter what, it can't erase these numbers:

Mile 1: 8:17 pace. Feelin' good!

Mile 2: 8:25 pace. Feelin' good until I had to turn around and go uphill. I caved and took two brief walk breaks.

Mile 3: 8:09 pace. Loving the return to flat terrain. From 2.25 through about 2.75, the miles seemed to drag, but a quick break revived me and powered me to a dominant finish.

End result: 3 miles in 24:57, for a 8:19 average clip. My halfway point was 12:15, so it wasn't a negative split, but it wasn't as skewed as I feared it might be around mile 1.75 (that's when the uphills started to wear me out).

So Regina, I'm sorry that I was kind of a hypocrite and scoffed at your disdain for rain, but in a way I'm glad -- otherwise, I might be sitting here now, proud of my clean dishes instead of my mad running skills.

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