It’s amazing how much faster you can run when you can breathe. Since I got that inhaler for my asthma I’ve been a new runner. No more dying during my tempo runs. When I ran the San Diego Rock n Roll Half with a puff from an inhaler, at about mile 10 my legs/hips started to get tired. I’d never had that problem in a race before. I’ve been running long tempos in order to make sure my legs can handle the work at the end of the race based on my new breathing capacity. So far I’ve seen some big results.
Monday Tempo: 10 miles at 15 seconds slower than half marathon pace.
This was a long one. Longer than I’ve ever run a tempo. I figured I’d slow it down and run it like a marathon pace tempo. I was shooting for 6:00-6:05. What I actually got was between 5:55 and 6:01 for the first 8 and then the last two at 5:53 and 5:51. 10 miles, 59:35 (5:57/mi). That’s the pace I ran for the half in June. When I was finished on Monday, I wasn’t really even tired. I wasn’t pushing it. Normally I’d be struggling a little bit to keep it up the last mile or two. This is a crazy good sign. My stamina is better than I thought and my legs held up fine, although I was a little sore the next day.
Thursday Tempo Interval: 2x4mi@Goal Half Marathon Pace
I was thinking goal pace should be for Silver Strand in two weeks, not Houston in two months. So I was aiming for the high 5:40s. I’m shooting for 1:15:XX at Silver Strand so 5:45-5:49 is perfect. I decided I’d check my pace, but not be a slave to my watch. I ran (5:42, 5:45, 5:44, 5:48) (5:47, 5:41, 5:34, 5:34). That’s 5:45 and 5:39. Holy crap. I didn’t mean to run that 7th mile so fast, but once I got in the groove I wasn’t going to slow down. I was definitely pushing a little at the end, but not like I used to at the end of a long tempo. And even better, I wasn’t suffering. I finished, I was a little out of breath, and within a few minutes I was fine. This is by far the fastest workout I’ve ever run. I really don’t know what pace I’m capable of in the half when I can run 5:34s at the end of a workout like this. I don’t want to sell myself short, but I also don’t want to be overeager and blow myself up. It’s happened before.
I’m totally unsure of my half marathon pace at this point. I think I’m going to try to run by feel at Silver Strand and see where that takes me. If I’ve got a lot left at the end, I’m going to burn the barn down. Normally I’d have a goal and I’d try to run that goal pace, but I’ve seen such a big improvement in my workouts since I got the inhaler that I’m probably faster than my goal pace. So the bottom line is we’ll see at Silver Strand.
I’m also running the Shelter Island 5k next weekend. I wanted to take another crack at sub-16 since it’s such a flat course. I haven’t run 5k pace since the end of summer, so I’m not exactly tuned up for it. But I’m in great shape, so let’s hope that’s enough!