Annoyed Lack of Running

I couldn’t run Wednesday due to cold and rainy weather. I will run in the cold, and I will run in the rain, but I won’t run in cold and rainy weather. Then, yesterday, I had a friend come over for a standard Thursday evening get-together, and tonight is a celebration for the Marine Corps Birthday at my friend Steve’s house. Tomorrow morning will be my only opportunity to run this weekend, as tomorrow night is the Marine Corps Birthday Ball, and I am fairly certain that I will be in no shape to run on Sunday. Sunday evening, I have a concert to go to which then leaves me with only two runs again this week.

I need to pick it up and do more. I will work as hard as I can to get my three runs in this coming week, and I also endeavor to add at least two days of bike riding into the mix.

Much better; pace back to where I like it

Image-1 (2)

Tonight, I set out to running a faster pace, and almost burned myself out too quickly. My first half-mile pace was 7:10/mile. Wow! That’s likely the fastest I’ve run in a very, very long time. I noticed I was burning myself out quickly, though, and if I were doing an APFT, I would keep that pace (or at least do my best trying), but since I knew I was going 3.1 miles, I slowed myself down. My first mile, I slowed to as close to 8 minutes/mile as I could, going over a bit, and because of the extreme speed in the early run, my subsequent second and third mile pace declined a bit, but I was still able to come in at a good 8:19/mile average. I’ll take it!

The one weird thing on tonight’s run is the number of bugs I ran through. When I got in the house and looked in the mirror, I looked like I had freckles from all the bugs stuck to the sweat on my face. I know a few flew into my mouth and into my eyes during the run. The ones in my eyes burned for a bit. The ones in my mouth didn’t taste too bad.

Decent, if not slower run

Today, I decided to take it slower than usual. Going into the weekend, I figured I may as well just go slow and enjoy the run. After hearing my first half-mile pace, however, I decided that I was going too slow, so I picked up the pace a bit. I can’t allow myself a 9+ minute/mile pace! Image-1 (3)

I picked it up for my second and third miles, but since I had done a bunch of drinking the night before and it was really hot out, I quit at exactly 3 miles even though I had intended to run 3.5 miles. It just wasn’t going to happen.

So, not my best run, not my longest run, but I’m happy with it nonetheless.

View my run on Strava.

Next Morning Muscles

23031236_10210527181484890_7475225840145599662_nSurprisingly, I feel great. I ran longer last night than I have in a very long time, and I was expecting my legs to be sore, but the opposite has happened; they actually feel great. Normal, even.

I’ve been holding back from running longer distances out of fear that it would leave me feeling too worn down or sore between runs, but today, I feel amazing.

My next run will be a 3.5 mile run. Adding another 1/10th of a mile doesn’t seem like much until you are running them and building distance. I won’t run the longer distance unless I can do so at my sustained pace for the previous distance, so that means keeping it at 8:30/mile or faster pace.

Oh, and the Astros won the World Series last night. Not sure if that’s helping my legs feel better, but it sure feels good.

Tried a new shirt; painful nipples

I was given some new exercise shirts today, and I figured I’d give one of them a try on a run tonight. It turned out to be a huge mistake, as when I got in after this run, my nipples were burning and slightly bleeding. Ouch! But, I’m still very happy with this run tonight. It started with a quick 10 push ups to see where I’m at with the elbow. No surprise: there’s still some pain, so I stopped after 10 very easy push ups. I was surprised at how easy they were. I know; 10 isn’t much, but I was thinking there’d be some difficulty, but there was none at all. That’s good to know. I’ll continue to sit out doing push ups for November and try again in December.

As for the run, I started off with a decent pace and was able to keep it up for the entire run. I decided to go for a little more distance tonight and I was happy to make 3.4 miles with ease. Heck, it just felt really good. Finishing with an 8:20/mile average pace over the 3.4 miles is a win for me, and I’ll take it.

I feel good after my runs, and even during the runs, while I’m pushing to keep the speed up, I find myself not really being out of breath or having to tap into any reserve to get the speed and distances I’ve been running. I will run again, hopefully, on Friday (as planned) and my goal is to raise the distance to 3.5 miles or more. No, I’m not working toward anything right now except maybe to be able to run a 10k sometime next year. I do have a 5k coming up in December, but at this point, barring any injuries, that one will be pretty easy and I should be able to post a new personal best with relative ease.

After four days of recovery, a solid effort

Image-1 (2)

I didn’t run on Friday due to recovery from my hard effort on Wednesday (my best 5k run time ever!), and Saturday and Sunday I had a lot going on with Sherry, so I didn’t get around to running until today. I was slightly worried, yet at the same time, my legs felt amazing. They were completely ready for anything I was going to throw at them. I decided to take it easy and just run without really pushing hard. I was surprised with the results.

My first mile was a bit slow, at 8:40/mile pace, but I was able to pick it up without a lot of effort and the second and third miles were both really good: sub 8:30/mile pace. At the end of the run, since my new minimum is 3.11 miles/5km, I decided to stretch it out a bit and go a little further, past 3.27 miles. I figure I can add a little distance each time I run so I can work up to 5 miles. Why? I don’t know. It seems that if I can run 8:30/mile pace for 5 miles, I should be able to really whip up the speed for 2 miles at my next APFT.

The run felt really good. Breathing was 4/4 for the first mile and then when I switched to 3/3, I felt the speed really come in. Like turbo. Wow. I felt pretty darned good for the rest of the run, too.

I’m not sure what my next run will be, but I’ll likely just try to stay under 8:30/mile for my pace while increasing the distances slowly. I’m also looking forward to December when I will be adding push ups back to the routine. My elbow is feeling better, but it’s slow going, and sometimes, a wrong move can aggravate it. I’m being very careful and allowing it to heal. I want to get back to 120+ push ups by my next APFT.

My run on Strava

Holy moly, best 5k time yet!

EJ celebrating
Me on my driveway after a great run with a 5k PB!

Wow; I did not expect this, but I ended up having the fastest 5k run time yet since I started running in September 2016. Sure, I was faster when I was younger and on active duty in the Marines, but as a 50-year old guy who has been running for just over a year, this is a big accomplishment for me, and I am happy about it!

The funny part is that I wasn’t really wanting to run today. I even told Sherry as I was getting ready that I kinda wanted to skip the run because I really just wasn’t feeling it. When I turned on the run setting on my Garmin Fenix 3, I was even a little perturbed when it acquired signal so quickly which meant I didn’t have much time to think about the run before it was time to hit the pavement.

When I started my run, I began with my usual 4/4 breathing pattern but quickly changed over to a 3/3 as I wanted to run faster. I was able to stay comfortable with the 3/3 for the duration of the run. Another thing different today; Strava was telling me my pace every three minutes. The first time it told me I was running 8 minutes flat, I decided to do my best to keep that pace. It ended up working, for the most part. I ran my first mile in 8:01, and I kept it up with an 8:07 for the second mile and an 8:10 for the third mile. The last 1/10 of a mile (to make it 5 km) was slower at an 8:44/mile pace, but I was pretty burned out in the last quarter of a mile.

My legs are pretty tired, but there’s no bad pain. It’s just, “You just worked HARD” pain, which is good. Now, I’ll take the next day or two off from running before picking it back up either Friday after work or Saturday morning. Even then, I’m going to try to make it an easy run. But we all know how that goes; every time I plan on an easy run, I end up kicking it up and running like mad.

Sometimes, the hardest part of running is getting psyched up to do it. This time, it was definitely the case.

My Run on Strava