Saturday, May 16, 2009

Apparently I Rock More Than Just Speed Intervals

Um, something weird happened on Thursday, you guys. I headed out for a run after work. Yes, I know this is weird because I normally work until the wee hours of the morning at my horrible slave ship of a job. But that's not the weird thing. I had a 7-8 mile marathon pace run in mind for myself when I set out. Now, I'm still not sure what my planned marathon pace is going to be. Originally, I had been thinking it would be around 9:00/miles, but with the set-backs I've had with illness and whatnot, I'm now thinking somewhere closer to 9:20-9:30/miles. SOOOO. I set out on my run, hoping to aim for 9:20 miles.

Off I went, SO deliriously happy to be running at 7:00 p.m. on a Thursday night. The weather was AMAZING. It was in the low 60s and breezy, threatening to rain (but it never did much more than short spurts of sprinkling). It just felt so refreshing to be out for a run! My tunes were pumping, and it was all I could do to keep myself from dancing to them as I ran. A mile passed, and I checked my Garmin out to see what my pace had been. Imagine my shock when 8:14 flashed back at me! I could kind of tell I was running too fast, but it felt so damn good that I didn't want to slow down. On I chugged, figuring maybe I'd turn my run into a tempo run of some sort. Much of mile-2 was uphill, but I still pulled off an 8:25 pace.

I entered Prospect Park shortly thereafter and plugged on. I was shocked to see that there weren't many runners out enjoying the perfect running weather . . . but I guess maybe they were scared off by the threat of rain. I slowed down a bit during mile-3, as I was just enjoying taking in the beauty of the park, but still finished the mile in 8:31. At that point, though, I was feeling the pain of my fast first few miles, so I let myself walk for a couple minutes to get my heart rate back down and return my breathing to normal. I thought about running the rest of the run at easy pace, but sure enough, as soon as I started running again, my legs had a different idea!

I started running down a path I don't usually take, which ended up being a bit hilly . . . but I was really enjoying exploring new territory, and mile-4 passed by in 8:18. I was getting tired by mile-5, and again contemplated slowing down to an easy pace for the remainder of the run, but still, my legs just wanted to push it. And who am I to argue with my legs? I finished mile-5 in 8:48. I exited the park and started the run back to my apartment. I LOVE the run back to my apartment along Union Street because it is predominantly downhill. My legs were super tired, but I told myself that if I pulled off one last fast mile, I could walk the last mile and change through my neighborhood to cool down. I hit the 6-mile mark at 50:53, completing that last mile in 8:35.

I was elated. I had just run six miles at an 8:28 pace! How do you like them apples? I rewarded myself with a brisk walk home through the 'hood. As ridiculous as this sounds, I kind of wanted to keep running. My legs were screaming at me that they weren't done yet . . . but because the focus of this week is to get a good long run in, I decided to ignore them. As I crossed the street to my apartment, I was checking my splits out, when all of a sudden I felt an awful burning on my shin. WTF? I looked down and there was a spark burning into my leg! Apparently some asshole outside the bar two doors down from me had tossed his cigarette, not paying any attention to the fact that I was approaching, and a spark had flown off from it and implanted itself on my shin. I jumped around trying to shake it off of my leg. Hot damn! It burnt like crazy and blistered up pretty quickly. The man apologized profusely, so I think he really just didn't see me coming, but COME ON! Another reason to not smoke, people. You may burn some poor runner returning from a run!

Yesterday, I made it to one of my firm's indoor soccer games, and my legs were TIRED. Luckily, we had three girl subs, so I didn't have to play all that much. And we won (still undefeated--woo!). I was sad that I didn't score any goals, but I did play some pretty sweet defense, so I suppose that's something to be proud of. Ah well, that's all I have for now. Tomorrow is long run day . . . so I'm spending today trying to rest up and recover from the tempo run/soccer game.

Hope y'all have a great weekend!


EmLit said...

Way to go! As usual, I am in awe :) I'm glad your legs are back and faster than ever!

Running and living said...

NIce, very nice. It looks like your legs have not forgotten how to run after all. What a great pace! Hope your leg is OK! Ana-Maria

Lisa said...

WOW! You are back, baby!! Do you have a 10K planned soon? A sub-50-minute 10K is on the horizon.

I think a sub-four hour marathon is in your future, too.

Too bad you are across the country. I think we could be good running partners. We could push each other!

congrats on a great run!

Anonymous said...

Whao, that is a great run!
Great pace! I love how a planned run in a particular pace turns into a different type of run.

How is the leg? The spark sounded very painful. Smoking is bad, especially in combination (no matter in what way) with running.

The last 2 K of the first race I ever did were through a VERY narrow street lined with smokers. Yuck. Still, people actually wounding you with their habit is all kinds of bad.

chris said...

Wow. You were on fire! The run, I mean.

Not sure I have ever experienced a run like that. Usually I go slower than intended, not faster. So glad to hear about this killer run. Not so happy to hear about the leg. I hope it healed up well.

lindsay said...

i'm glad the shin pain was just the cig spark and not an injury! although, the burning sensation is still crappy of course. great run! you definitely have to let the legs win on days like those :)

Heather C said...

Ah! I can't believe you caught a spark, thats some crazy timing!

But wow, great run!! :) It's so hard to stop and shut off that runner's high that tells you to keep going going going - but smart choice if you're in for a long one!

veryyyy cool that you play indoor soccer! I'd LOVE to find a group to play with, indoor is so much fun.

hope the Long run went well :)

Frayed Laces said...

Way to totally DDYA, lady!

Spike said...

what an awesome run, you were cooking. glad the legs are back and feeling fine.

don't worry too much about not scoring a goal...unless you are Nitmos' daughter (then it's no supper for you).

The Laminator said...

How's the leg? And the long run? Congrats on your speedy mid-week run. Running gets like that sometimes...just when you think you're running slower than molasses, your legs suddenly think they're Kenyan and you run faster than you've ever run before...just out of the blue. It's very inspirational though. Great job.

Rachel said...

Awesome job!! I love it when you end up running faster than expected and still feel great!

Steve Stenzel said...

Nice job!!! (except for when that stupid littering smoker tried to light you on fire...)

Fair Weather Runner said...

YAYAY, that is awesome. You are giving me some hope that I might bounce back and actaully be able to run fast. Maybe your body needed that kinda break.

I see we are still fighting it out to see who can NOT post pictures. Dead tie. Except I might actually consider posting them on Friday.

Nitmos said...

Kick ass! Maybe you are targeting a pace that is too slow for you?!

Did you get hit with any cigarettes at the soccer game?

aron said...

GREAT job!!! I love those runs when you are just whatever about them and then they turn into the best ones!

sRod said...

Oh, it's been a long time since I've had one of those fantastic runs. But damn, they are the best.

Laura said...

Wow, AMAZING job on the speed for a longer run! That's pretty impressive.

Marathonman101108 said...

Hey, I just realized that I've neglected reading your blog. I've also realized that you haven't posted since being attacked by a cigarette! I hope you and your blistered leg are doing well. FANTASTIC run, by the way!