Sunday, October 6, 2013

8k training: 3 and 7 mile runs

I ran 7 miles this morning!! Now first, I'm sure some of you are wondering why in the world I would run 7 miles while training for a race that is only 5 miles. I'm following an abbreviated training plan for a sub 60 minute 10k, and it includes a lot of longer runs to help with endurance. I'm giving it a try, to see if I actually can run longer distances. Now I can officially say that I can run 7 miles!

I think a lot of running is mental for me. Obviously I've been working hard to get in better shape, and that plays a very necessary role. But believing that I can run further is hard for me to do, and I have a lot of nerves prior to long runs. This weekend has been incredibly warm, which also makes it difficult for me. I have a very small window of weather I like to run in (~45-65 F), and this weekend has been way above that window.

Yesterday (Saturday), I did a 3 mile run outside. I left around 9:40, and by the time I got back it was close to 80 degrees. I just got so overheated and felt so exhausted, that it took me a while to recover. I was really nervous thinking about the 7 mile run I needed to do the next day, and knew there was no way I could complete the run in that same weather. I got up a lot earlier, so I could avoid as much of the heat as I could. I started on the run at 8:30, and finished at just about the time I started the run on Saturday. A lot of the long run was shaded, which obviously helped.

For the 3 mile run, I did the same loop I've been doing pretty frequently. I was afraid that the corner area would be really crowded because there was a home football game, but apparently everyone was closer to the stadium. I only gave a few dirty looks to people in my way haha.

Splits: (average pace, pace in last 1/2 mile)
0.5 mile 5:05 (10:10)
1.0 miles 9:49 (9:49, 9:28) last mile 9:49
1.5 miles 14:48 (9:52, 9:58)
2.0 miles 19:43 (9:52, 9:50) last mile 9:54
2.5 miles 24:40 (9:52, 9:54)
3.0 miles 29:34 (9:51, 9:48) last mile 9:51

I didn't wear my heart rate monitor - I was just trying to go at an easy pace so I wasn't too concerned with what the results said. Plus I knew the number of calories burned wasn't going to be anything all that exciting!

Now for the 7 mile run! Joey helped me plot out a run that would avoid lots of pedestrians. I've gotten to the point where having to run zigzags around people is worse than hills. I don't know if that says something about my endurance, or about my complete lack of patience and hatred of undergrads here...

I started out at Riverview park this time, and ran the entire length of the path along the river, went up the giant hill to get back onto the road, and then continued back toward the downtown mall. I circled around on Preston, and at that point basically did the run I did last week, and ended back at the river for a small loop.

My legs hurt a lot at the beginning. I eventually got into a rhythm, and made it up the giant hill. Around 3 miles in, my stomach started to hurt a lot. I think it was partly nerves, partly just getting up earlier than I would have liked. It was really unsettled, and I started getting side cramps as well. It took close to a mile before the unsettled feeling passed, and a bit longer until the cramps went away. I took advantage of a really long light to stop for a couple minutes, and try to get everything to pass. Once I got back onto Preston, I felt much better. I knew exactly what was coming, and it was mostly flat/downhill.

Splits: (average pace, pace in last 1/2 mile)
0.5 5:13 (10:26)
1.0 10:32 (10:32, 10:38) last mile 10:32
1.5 15:28 (10:19, 9:52)
2.0 20:32 (10:16, 10:08) last mile 10:00
2.5 25:58 (10:23, 10:52)
3.0 31:17 (10:26, 10:38) last mile 10:45
3.5 36:38 (10:28, 10:38)
4.0 42:16 (10:34, 11:06) last mile 10:59
4.5 47:34 (10:34, 10:36)
5.0 52:40 (10:32, 10:12) last mile 10:24
5.5 58:03 (10:33, 10:46)
6.0 1:03:09 (10:32, 10:12) last mile 10:29
6.5 1:08:11 (10:29, 10:04)
7.0 1:13:00 (10:26, 9:38) last mile 9:51

Heart Rate Monitor Results:
Duration: 01:15:15
Calories Burned: 845
Average Heart Rate: 166 (86.0 % max)
Maximum Heart Rate: 182 (94.3% max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 0:30:28

The surprising thing is that this is my "best" heart rate monitor result. It's the lowest average heart rate that I've had on a long run, which means that it wasn't quite as strenuous for me. I had a really strong finish, showing that I still had some energy at the end. I think that if it wasn't for some stomach issues in mile 4, I could have gone a decent bit faster in the second half.

Overall, I'm really happy with my run. With the exception of a few stops at lights (that equaled 2.25 minutes), I ran 7 miles straight. And even with some stomach problems halfway through, I had an average pace that was exactly the same as the average pace for my 6 mile run. I just need to repeat 7 miles next weekend, and if that goes well, try 8 miles!