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Recovery Running

January 27, 2009

8 ½ yesterday, 9 today. Both runs actually easier than I expected, coming off the “blackjack run” of Sunday. Legs actually fairly obedient to my instructions: We’re running 9 today, people; Let’s pick up the pace, now.

Granted, I’m a tad sore. Hip-connects-to-torso area. Iced the left side yesterday before bed, so today, naturally, as if to make a point, the right side is sore. Hamstrings could use a massage or a beating, either would do. The perenially tight calves seem to have resigned themselves into silence. However, every once in a while, yesterday and today, my back has hollered out a complaint. Hmmm. Maybe it’s time for NSAIDs?

I realized last week that my runs have fallen into a somewhat predictable pattern of late, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Sundays are recovery and family days. I occasionally schedule a major race on a Sunday (the Gasparilla Distance Classic is on March 1, a Sunday), but I don’t train on Sundays.

Mondays, usually recovery runs from the longer runs* but still one of the longer-mileage runs during the workweek just because of how the schedule works out, are now my music runs. I try to tune out my form and pace; because I have more time, I can run the prescribed distance at a very easy pace if I need to.

Tuesdays are usually speedwork days. On post-20 weeks, I don’t always do the prescribed speedwork if the legs are tired, though.

Wednesdays are short run days–six miles is all I have time for most weeks, since I have to be home by about 6 or 6:30 to get out the door in time for the day.

Thursdays are another open-ended day for an eight-or-higher mileage run, so I try to dedicate them to form work: paying attention to pace, breathing, or some other facet of my running. I don’t do speedwork because by Thursday it’s a little close to Saturday’s long runs.

Fridays are usually rest days, though on weeks the longer run is shorter, I don’t mind running an easy 4 to 6 miles, as long as I keep the pace really easy.

Saturdays are usually long run days because it’s when all time restrictions can be removed.

Now, see, today, I had this whole thought process about pacing buzzing around my head. I didn’t even check the schedule to see what kind of speedwork I had on the schedule. Instead, I thought I’d do pace work. The plan was to hold a steady ten-minute pace for the first four miles. Remember, this is supposed to be the pace I start my 26.2 at. I wanted to be intensely focused on what this pace feels like. Though I’ll be blessed with pacers at the Gasparilla Distance Classic, I feel like pacing myself is a skill I need to master as a runner.

At mile 5, I intended to bring my pace up to 9:45 and hold it for the next four miles. For the final mile of my 9-miler, I’d settle into whatever pace my body felt like coming home at.

So, set out for my steady-pace run.

Yeah, like I said, I stink at it. My splits:










How can I be so bad at it? I mean, I was really shocked to see I ran negative splits all the way. I knew I hadn’t nailed the pacing, but I thought I’d at least come close. Instead, I ran the first two miles at 10:30s, the next three at 10, one mile at 9:45, and then two at 9:30. Honestly!

Okay, nothing to it but to keep practicing. This week’s is a shorter long run so I can run hard on Thursday–maybe 9-minute miles–and do pace work again.


*Funny that I’m at the place in training where this week’s prescribed 13- or 14-miler is a “short” long run and next week’s 23-miler is a “true” long run, the one that requires planning, rest, and fueling. Yikes.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2009 9:14 pm

    You’re not alone. Even after almost 6 years of running, I’m awful at pacing.

  2. the Zookeeper permalink*
    January 31, 2009 4:14 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement, Bob. I’m hoping it will get easier if I practice the skill.

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