Saturday, July 14, 2012

Kensington!

I love Kensington Metropark.  I don't run there often, but every time I have, I've had PHENOMENAL runs.  I think it's the rolling hills at Kensington that lead to great runs.  Nothing too long or steep, but enough variety in the terrain to not get bored and to change up the muscles you're using a bit.  The Ann Arbor 501 Running Club met there at 6:15 this morning for a combined group long run with the Northville/Novi group.  The last time I remember running at Kensington (not including races) was my 20 miler in training for the 2009 Phoenix marathon.  I killed that run at a much faster than usual pace and felt amazing.  Today didn't disappoint either.  I had 8 miles on the schedule.  Recently my pace has been 10:30-11:00 min/mile (and not feeling very easy at that pace either), so I wasn't expecting anything different today.  I started out right on track at about 10:30, and then gradually got faster.
Splits.  Average 9:40 overall.
Around mile 3-5 it may have had to do with somebody being on my tail and me not wanting to get passed, but it felt good so I kept with it.  It helped that it was early, there were some shady parts, and it wasn't nearly as hot as I've been running in recently.  At about mile 6 I realized I was improving each mile and decided to try to continue that trend through the end.  Runs that get faster each mile always feel amazing.  Love it, love it, love it.  (Okay, I know, technically mile 5 was was 3.5 TENTHS of a second slower than mile 4, and I'm sad about that, but whatever.)  But really miles 4, 5, and 6 were basically identically paced, which is another WIN.  Consistency also makes me happy.  Those were my "cruise miles" anyway, unlike the start where I was still stiff and warming up, and the last miles where I was kicking it up and trying to finish fast.
Pace and elevation
 Afterward they had a potluck and "running fashion show" to show off our most pimpest gear.  I hung out for quite awhile and had fun talking to everybody before I embarked on the ~30 min drive home (or at least it should have been; more on that later). I'm bummed that our next run at Kensington is August 4th and I won't be able to go because I work that day.
Rose showed me that I was wearing my maternity running skirt all wrong.  (We have the same one! Only she's actually pregnant.  Details.)  So apparently THIS is how it's done.  Actually it looks kind of like a sundress like that, doesn't it??

FOOOOOD!!!
So after all the fun and socializing, I headed out, mostly thinking about running and thinking about what I was going to write in my blog.  Next think I knew, I was in Fowlerville, MI.  And then I got stuck in construction on the way back.  Yay.
The worst part is that this isn't the first time I've done this.  After a race at Kensington last year I did the exact same thing, although I don't think I made it quite as far as Fowlerville before I realized it and turned around.  Live and learn.  Or, you know, don't.

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