Wednesday, August 27, 2008
They've Gone to Plaid
Yeah, that's about how fast I was going.
Sometimes I forget the basic tenants of running. I'll get frustrated after an excruciatingly slow run during a back-off week, forgetting that a runner needs the recovery as much as the miles. But after nailing my speedwork a week ago, I was ready to crush that long run on Sunday. But alas, I needed to be slow.
I needed to be slow to get fast.
Or perhaps my body was used to its usual Tuesday track sessions.
Either way, I dropped the hammer on my 8-mile tempo run last night. Had I been running a 10K, I would have broken my recent PR with an 8:06 pace. This is a good omen as the Buckeye Half Marathon approaches, a race in which I hope to break one hour, 50 minutes.
As you brilliant mathematicians have already calculated, my pace was slightly faster than my goal half marathon race pace (8:24). That's faster than I've ever run that route by about nine minutes. Hell, my overall time (1:04:50) was faster than I think I've ever run 7 miles! (If my old online running log hadn't gone to Sucksville, I could tell you for sure. My new log only goes back to Feb. 25.)
Full disclosure: I must admit that I had some help on this run. At the start of the park path, I saw a man who, with all his gadgetry, looked more like Marvin, the android, than a runner. He was decked out, with his heart rate monitor strapped across his chest, an iPod on his arm, a Garmin on his wrist and there were various other protruding wires to which I can only guess.
He was stretching (or perhaps he was oiling his joints) when I started running. But I heard his footsteps and beeping (and whirring) behind me shortly after. I thought that maybe he was using me as his pacer. So I turned on the hyper drive and dropped him cold.
That first mile was rife with roadkill--that is, other runners whom I picked off one by one. The next time I saw Marvin was on the return trip. I had opened a half-mile gap between us. I'm sure all he saw was plaid.