Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Progressively Zen

This morning I literally gave the alarm an ugly look.  But ... for the first time in over a week I didn't stir all night nervous about missing my morning workout.  I slept well and that's a big thing!

I rolled out of bed at 4:15, (Mondays I work from 7 am until 8 pm, so 4:15 the next morning comes fast) and following my morning routine, warmed up and hit the road for another zen run (no time constraints, only running by feel).  This was going to be a 4 miler though, instead of two.  And, instead of driving to somewhere flat, I was running from home.  Two big things also!  I'm starting to feel like Seabiscuit, too!
In the graph below you can see how the terrain is around my house.  This is the flattest run I can do leaving my home.  

As you can see, the first two miles are down hill, dropping from almost 3,700 feet to 3,450 feet.  It's an out and back, so, the last two are up.  I decided, depending on how the leg felt, that it might be interesting to see if I could do a progressive run, made a bit trickier to pull off because of the elevation. I had my garmin with me, but agreed NOT to check pace or time at all.  I just wanted it to see how I did when I was finished. 

Mile one I just loosened up, concentrated on keeping my stride short.  Mile two, down hill also, so I did more of the same.  On mile three I had to slow down twice (I think) as the hamstring began to tighten.  I concentrated on shortening my stride for a minute or so, then sped up again.  The last mile was my best, though certainly not fast, but for being just fourteen days off of the hamstring strain, I'm happy with it.

All told, I did the run in 38 minutes which is considerably slower than normal (about a minute and a half per mile slower), but was fast enough that with the heavy clothes I was wearing, I got a good sweat.  Anyhow, as you can see in the picture above, I went faster as the terrain got steeper and did so while maintaining a short stride and keeping the hamstring happy!

I guess I won't be trying to run the last leg of the duathalon (2 miles) in under 13, but hey, I'll be able to run.

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