‘Round the ballpark
I would have liked to have gotten out the door before I started my workday, but there were things that were broken and had to be fixed first thing, and I didn’t get out the door until after 5 o’clock.
I took a basic loop out past the ballpark and back the other side, very similar to many of the ballpark runs I’ve done this year. The sun was hot and my knee doesn’t seem to be fully recovered but it also doesn’t seem to be getting worse.
At about seven-tenths of a mile out I felt like I couldn’t go any farther. That’s perfectly normal; it usually takes a mile and a half or more for me to get warmed up and get into a rhythm. I pushed on and eventually things smoothed out. I admit I find it a bit annoying that every time I go out I have to push through what feels like failure before I get to a level I can sustain. And of course, that has its own set of questions: if I feel like I can do this all day, does that mean I’ve hit the right level of intensity or does it mean that I’m just not pushing myself hard enough?
Those are questions that won’t ever be answered, but I did take sixty seconds a little after mile three to push harder. I won’t say it was a full sprintmy pace for that sixty seconds averaged an 8:45 milebut I did step it up a notch or two from the 11:30 pace I’d been maintaining. If I’d put in more than one of those bursts I might be able to claim to have done fartleks. It would probably do me some good to start pushing with interval training, but we can consider this the toe in the pool.
I really would like to start building speed. Right now I’d be overjoyed to get back to where I was four years ago, running a consistent 8:30 – 9:00 mile pace. But that’s no limit. Running is not an exclusively young man’s sport. Of the forty-eight finishers of Sunday’s 5K that came in under a seven-minute mile pace (21:47) seventeen were men my age or older including the #4 finisher who came in at 17:15. That’s a 5:33 pace over 3.1 miles! I’m not going to get there soon, but I also don’t need to settle for nine minute miles as anything other than a short-term goal.
What I need to do is start looking at past weeks and setting goals for the coming week. These need to be realistic goals but always pushing myself a little further. I have the beginnings of a formula but I need to do some numbers and see how they come out. I’ll post them here when I’ve got it.