So after running this morning I discovered a huge benefit of running. As snot was dripping down my face and I was hacking and spitting into the wind and snow, I was thinking "wow, this sucks." But then I got home, did some quality nose blowing, and took a deep breath in and out. And lo and behold there was no noise. No wheeze, no rattle, and no cough. For a good 30 minutes I couldn't hear myself breathe. What a relief. So glad I went.
In honor of my newfound discovery, I have decided to introduce a new "series" to my blog. Next time I think of some great thing about running, I'll title that one "The Benefits of Running. #2:.....". Aren't you excited? I am. I wonder how many awesome benefits we'll end up with. These won't be sequential posts by the way, so don't get too excited (directed at my one reader: Hi Irina!)
Rewinding a bit. I was fully planning on running on the treadmill today to "protect" my lungs from the cold, but as 4 am came and went, I realized that if I had to go on the dreadmill, I wasn't going to go at all. So it was outside or nothing. I decided it was probably for the best because I needed to break in my clunky Addictions some more, and evaluate my lungs and illness prior to trying to attend my group run tomorrow morning for a 12 miler. And get the f* outside and run (first outdoor run since SATURDAY! eek.). So glad I went. (I know I already said that.) I feel like myself again, even if it wasn't the prettiest or fastest run I've ever done.
Speaking of fast, I was kind of frustrated on this run. I know I'm sick and I haven't run much this week and I shouldn't look at my pace, but WTF? How is it that I can run for 2 years consistently and have my easy/comfortable pace stay basically the same? I want my easy pace to get faster. I think it's like muscle memory or something. My legs are just so used to logging so many miles at like 10:30-10:45 that that's what they default to when I am by myself on a regular, easy, no frills run. Obviously I can comfortably run faster than that with a group or a buddy, or on a tempo run, or of course a race, but that's not the same. I want my "go forever pace" to get better! Ultimately the reason for this is because I don't plan on ever "racing" a marathon. When I do marathons I do them at my easy jogging pace, which I would REALLY like to be less than 10:00/mile. Why can't it be? Aaargh. I was so frustrated by the feeling that I hadn't improved at all, that I had to prove to myself that I had by plotting race times.
Those are my 5K times of recent history. My current bout of consistent running started in May 2010, so that's where the real improvement started. So clearly I have gotten faster. Right? Yes. At least at races. Just not at jogging. Oh well. I could also use another one of those nice steep drops as seen in May and October 2010. C'mon breakthrough. I feel it coming. Any day now. Sub 8:00 min/mile for a 5K.
Oh, by the way, I know the Y-axis looks like I have 25 hour 5K times, but I tried to fix and couldn't because I'm a dunce. So pretend the last colon on each Y-axis label is actually a decimal point (ie 22:00.00 instead of 22:00:00), okay? I promise I never ran a 36+ hour 5K. They're minutes.
Eek, 10am. Time for bed! I get to sleep in late today to prep for my long run tomorrow morning. I'll sleep until at least 7pm, rather than my usual 5pm, so I can stay up after work and run with the 501-ers at 8am. Yay. As long as work doesn't suck tonight. If it does, then I won't make it to the run on time. Boo.
Addendum: Bugger. I just saw this on facebook: