It has been almost 3 months since I started running. I'm so hooked! Last weekend when I finally finished the accounting and the taxes for the year my treat to myself was a late evening run. Far from feeling like a fitness obligation, running is now the high point of my day.
Remember me mentioning how satisfied my geeky self is about all the on-line training logs and technology available? Here you get to see some of the graphs I have fun playing around with.
This first graph shows my weekly mileage since the end of March. The yellow and green bars are walk/run sessions of various sorts. Pink is a fast "tempo" run, light blue a hill run, and the dark blue bars are my "long slow runs." My mileage has gone from about 10 miles (16k) a week to 26 miles (40k) a week. Note my attack of sensible-ness two weeks ago, when I took a step-back week and reduced my mileage to help prevent injuries and allow my body an easy week to recover strength. I plan to repeat that every 4-6 weeks.
This is the graph I'm even more pleased with. It shows the improvement in my pace on the 5k distance. My pace (minutes per mile) has dropped from almost 13 minutes to about 8:30. In metric units that's an increase in speed from 7.54 to 11.3 km/h. (That last speediest 5k was one where I drove down to town and ran there on a fairly flat route in order to see how fast I could push myself.)
Last month I mentioned that I was thinking about training for a Half Marathon for next year. I'm now wondering about running in one in October of this year. I ran the 21.1 km distance on my long (hot!) Saturday run a week ago so I know I could finish the race. We'll see if the logistics work out. The race is a few hours away and on a weekend that I know is likely to be problematic.
I've now logged over 200 miles on my total. My goal of 500 miles in 2009 is feeling like a pretty conservative one right now, assuming I stay motivated and injury-free. My goal for the next couple months is just maintenance. "Building a base," they call it. Giving bones, muscles and ligaments a chance to fully adapt to running by maintaining a consistent schedule. I might get the chance to do a 10k Fun Run in a couple of weeks. There's been one nearby in years past but publicity always comes out at the last minute. I'll do it if it happens.
New things I've learned about running:
1. Audiobooks are great for long slow runs.
2. A cold cold bath for the legs whilst sipping a London Fog is the best way to smooth recovery after a long run.
3. Bears meandering around on the side of the road will usually run off when you wave your arms and shout "get lost, you stupid bear, this was supposed to be my fast run, and you're in the way!"
4. GU energy gels are pretty disgusting to eat but they actually don't taste bad when you're salt- and sugar-depleted. Allow me to recommend the Espresso Love flavour.
5. Rain. Rain is wonderful. Nothing beats running in the rain.
6. There are far too many motorcyclists on our road who have been inspired by this video. (Yes, that's my running route. Since the road is 40 km in its entirety, the video has probably been sped up. A bit. Still, it's insane how some of these guys ride.)
7. There is no natural limit on how much money one can spend on running gear.
8. A long run on a hot day will result in visible salt encrustations on one's skin.
9. BodyGlide anti-chafing product is mighty awesome stuff.
10. Dogs who can shame you with their spry fitness in March don't do so well past 7 kilometers or any time the temperature is over 20 C. Neener, neener, neener, Limpet! (She now stays home most of the time.)