Monday, November 29, 2010

Finally A Little Distance!

How do you judge the difference between a "run" and a "long run"? For the past year my threshold has been fifteen kilometres, but there's something nice and definite about a "10 miler" and so I now am of the opinion that sixteen kilometres will be my barometer for long run distance. Of course this means that since the marathon I have not had a single "long run", and that is rather disturbing.

Yesterday I guess I finally made it. Although my shoulder is still on the mend and I have to give it more time to heal before getting back into upper body weights, and the kink in my neck/upper back on the right side is still with me, my running has been getting better. The faster cadence that I've been practicing is producing faster training paces and I have even started to practice my planned marathon pace for my attempt at a BQ at some point in 2011 (if all goes well). With all that in mind I really wanted to keep things nice and easy and just make it through 16km this weekend. I had planned on this distance last weekend, but my body had other plans and I failed miserably. This time I made it!

It was a chilly run and perhaps not as easy as I would have liked it to be, but physically it definitely was not very taxing. I ran into the wind heading West and for the first half of the run it was all about just putting one foot in front of the other, enjoying the music on the iPod (which I've dug out recently for the first time in a very long time), and seeing the world glide by. On the way back things went a bit faster with the wind now at my back, but I had a small scare at about the 11.5km mark. My left calf all of a sudden felt like it would cramp up. I tried to run through it for about a hundred metres, but then thought better of it and stopped to stretch it out a bit. I figured that it was mush smarter to stop, realize things weren't going to improve, and then walk home than risk a torn muscle. For a few minutes I stretched and thought about what I should do. Then I decided to try and jog and set off at an easy pace. The calf thing did not return, mercifully, and I was able to finish the run at the same pace or better although that first kilometre after starting back up was by far the slowest of the second half of the run at 5:27.

Ultimately I finished the 10 miler with a decent pace (5:19/km, 8:34/mile) and the week's mileage ended up at 46km (28.5 miles). I am now at 165km for the month and am planning on at least one more run tomorrow and might even do the usual double that's been happening on Tuesdays in the recent past if the predicted rain isn't as heavy as they say it will be.

Good times!

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