Monday, December 29, 2014

Running is Fun, Part 1

I wrote a post I was going to post today, but needed to link it to this one. When I went looking for this post, I couldn't find it. Apparently I never actually hit publish, despite the fact that I thought I had. So this is a week late, and I'll have another running post tomorrow.

Saturday morning we didn't have anything planned, so I braved the chilly temps and went for a run outside. I've been taking the easy way out and hitting the treadmill most days, but I wanted a good, long run, which I knew wouldn't happen on the treadmill.

I'm lucky if I can manage two 10 minute stints of running in a 45 minute workout when I'm on the treadmill. I'm not sure why, but it just feels so much harder physically, and it's a lot easier to lose motivation when you're not actually going anywhere. We don't have the best treadmill, so that could be part of the issue, but maybe it's just all in my head :)

I've been sticking to 5k races and workouts since the half marathon in September, but I have an 8 mile race at the end of February (replacing the mud run I've done the last couple years because pregnant bellies and obstacle courses do not get along very well) and a half marathon the first weekend in April, so I need to start increasing my mileage. I generally go into longer races undertrained, but I need to be a bit more careful with my upcoming races since I'll be about 25 weeks along for the half marathon. Yes, I was pregnant when I last ran the Disney half, but I was only 3 weeks pregnant. It's vastly different to be approaching the end of the second trimester versus being barely pregnant.

Saturday I decided to aim for a 4 mile run and see what happened. I wasn't going for speed, just distance and endurance. Interestingly enough, my endurance has improved. Despite my struggles to run on the treadmill, once I was outside, it almost felt effortless. I was a little short of breath in the first half mile or so (I remember this happening when I was in the first trimester with River, so it wasn't unexpected), but once I warmed up it wasn't a problem. I ran 1.5 miles, walked for .1 mile, then ran the next 1.5 miles. I haven't run a 5k with only one walk break in a really, really long time. My legs and lungs actually felt pretty good, I only had to stop and walk because I felt like I needed to throw up (pregnancy hormones strike again). After running the second 1.5 miles, I walked another .1 mile, then ran .55 miles, walked .1 mile, and ran .3 miles, finishing with 4.15 miles total.

Mile 3.25-3.75 had two fairly significant hills, which is why I added in another walk break so close to the finish. The course I ran had several long hills, but they were fairly gentle and didn't feel strenuous, except those last two hills. I ended up staying out of the neighborhoods and running the main roads and it actually wasn't too bad. I've avoided the main roads in the past because they're narrow and cars tend to speed a bit and aren't always considerate towards runners and bikers. Our roads are so narrow that they don't have painted right-side lines and the shoulders are usually fairly non-existent as well. So I did have to stay vigilant so I could hop off the pavement into the grass/barrow pit when cars were coming from both directions at the same time. Most of the time if just one car was coming toward me they swung wide and I could stay on the pavement, which was nice.

I wasn't looking at my times while I was out running, but once I got home I saw that I had run 4.15 miles in 48:45, which is an 11:45 pace. That's only a little slower than what I've been running during races, and I kept it up for 4 miles instead of just the usual 3. So Saturday's run was definitely encouraging.

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