Thursday, July 5, 2012

Run A2!

I was feeling a little crazy the other day and got a magnet for my car from Running Fit.  I'm not a fan of the distance magnets (ie 13.1, 26.2, 0.0 (Okay, I AM a fan of the 0.0 one, and if I didn't run I would DEFINITELY get that one)).  I kind of feel like they are all "look at me, I'm awesome, I ran 26.2 miles and you didn't".  And people get weird about them, like marathoners and ultramarathoners scoffing at 13.1 or 6.2 stickers or whatever.  Anyway, I like the plain "run." stickers, but they're a little too common.  I saw these "Run A2" magnets and felt like I could actually like that.  I see the "run." and "Run A2" magnets as more of an encouragement, like "get out and run" or just a statement of affection/hobby: "yay, I like to run!" and less of a "ooh, look how awesome I am and how far I ran" statement.   I know a ton of people love those 13.1/26.2 stickers, and I'm not judging you or your cars, I just wasn't comfortable putting one on mine.  I overanalyze things, I know.  

I actually haven't had running on my mind that much recently.  Don't get me wrong, I still love running (possibly even more than usual), but I haven't been as focused on it recently, psychologically.  Now that it's hot as balls summer, any races that I do are just for fun, and any hopes of a PR are pretty much out the window until fall.  The lack of pressure and expectations is very liberating.  Interestingly, despite the scorching heat, I have been having a lot of fast runs.  I'm not sure what to attribute the new found speed to, since there were so many changes recently.  1) A lot more strength training. 2) Running less miles per week (20 vs 30 miles, 4 days vs 5 days). 3) Coming off a reduced mileage month in June due to my ham-ass. 4) Lack of expectations and pressure to PR, no upcoming races.  So yeah, I really have no idea, but I'm thinking it has most to do with #2 and #3, maybe a smidge of #1.  So how fast is "faster"?  Well, the splits below are from a 90 degree run:
I would be happy with that run in 50 degrees, let alone 90.  To be fair though, I was pushing pretty hard, it wasn't like I was just cruising along chatting.   I'd really like to get to the point where 8:30 or so is a comfortable pace.  The "fast" groups I sometimes try to run with seem to do about an 8:00, so if I could run with them without having to abort early I'd be psyched.  I'm not sure how to get there though.  I'm enjoying the lack of structure right now, and the thought of mapping out a complicated training plan with intervals and tempo runs and all that crap kinda makes me want to gag.  I don't like the pressure of "having" to do a certain pace each day.  I think I'll just go for a minimum of one "hard" workout per week, whether that be showing up to a 501 group workout of mile repeats, or running with a "fast" group one day a week, and hope that that gradually speeds me up a bit.  I'm also considering signing up with an online coach.  At least that would take out the guesswork of whether I'm training "right", and the stress of designing my own plan, even if it doesn't eliminate the structure and the specific goals for each workout that I was trying to avoid.  Maybe I'll do that if fall comes around and I still haven't managed to beat those pesky 5K and HM PRs from 2005/2006.   

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