Saturday, March 5, 2011

Steady as she goes

For the past month as I have been working diligently on my foundation, I have taken my long runs to a new location. All of the routes that leave from my house are hilly. There is no getting around it. There are rollers everywhere so both the start and end of every fun involves what for me are not fun (HR spiking) sections. So I have been going out to Needham/Wellesley where there are nice long stretches of relatively flat or steady but slight grade roads, with wide shoulders. This runs have been pretty blissful (except the one day when it was 15F with 30+mph gusts and I had to stop and crouch on the ground for over a minute so as not to get knocked over). My paces have been good on these runs. But it feels like cheating cuz there are no hills! James' upcoming half marathon is a flat course. I am tentatively planning on running it as a training run. So these runs have also been confidence builders for that. However, I can't avoid hills forever. Hills are always what kill me. So today I had 1:35 run on tap and I decided it was time to (wo)man up and run a hilly route. I adjusted my distance goal to reflect a slower pace. Figured 20 seconds per mile slower than flat 1:30 run from 2 weeks ago.

The weather man says 40F this morning so this was my first outdoor run in anything only that hardcore winter gear since November. Capris, t-shirt, and brooks wind jacket --- that's it! It was awesome so actually feel the wind on my skin (without it hurting). I was actually probably even a little too warm. I tried not to look at my garmin, just to run comfortably (well, honestly, maybe a little harder than comfortably) and adjust pace to fit terrain. It was a good run. A very good run. Usually I start falling apart a little bit around an hour into my runs (or 1:10 if I'm having a good day) but this didn't happen. My energy was good. My attitude was good.
When I got home I looked at my lap splits...Two weeks ago I ran that flat course at 8:40, with paces ranging from 8:24 to 8:52.

This week:
Mile 1: 8:48
Mile 2: 8:38
Mile 3: 8:28
Mile 4: 8:43
Mile 5: 8:38
Mile 6: 8:52
Mile 7: 8:38
Mile 8: 8:37
Mile 9: 8:38
Mile 10: 8:39
Mile 11: 8:32

Average pace: 8:39

This is the most even pacing I have EVER run. And there were hills. YAY ME! 

I guess there might be something to be said for patience.


  1. This is great, Rachel! You've been working hard and it is nice to see rewards! Keep it up!

  2. nice job! great pace overall and even splits, always nice to see.

    i would never make it up north. i've already been enjoying 50-60 degree runs. i could not handle such a long, cold winter!