Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Looking Back to Get Ahead


Yeah, it is last year's pic
But this year's weren't funny!

Today is national running day.  Since this is neither a “real” holiday nor a holiday that I get off of work, I’m going to henceforth decree “national running day” to mean “worldwide running day” to be a bit more all-inclusive.  I will celebrate my worldwide decree Canadian style (ehh?) by shotgunning a Molson and then shotgunning a bottle of real Maple Syrup in rapid succession. Uppers and downers, it’d be like a carb filled upper / downer combo.  (In case you aren’t as hip as me, shotgunning definition here ......now reread it. Hilarious right?)

To celebrate worldwide running day, I ran 15 miles.  Which, of course means that I had planned to run 15 miles all along and called that my “celebration”. Just like when I randomly send my mom flowers one weekend and it just so happens to be mothers day.  What a totally random coincidence! The 15 miles went pretty well, not good, not great.  I ran the first half easy and the second half every other mile I ran at 15K pace, a total of 4 miles, at 6:15/mile.  Overall I ended up at 7:08 pace which I’ll take all day long.

As I was bounding like a female gazelle slogging along at 6:15 pace during my tempo miles I had a bit of a flashback. It wasn’t but 2 years ago that 6:10 was my 5K and mile interval pace!  I distinctly remember running along the same path and being SPENT after running a 6:10 mile as part of a speed workout.  I was spent to the point that I was gasping for air, hands on head, making a noise that was likely very similar to a mating buffalo. HHHHAAAWWWW....... HHHAAAWWW......  Today however, I ran 8 miles warm up and then threw in some of the same paced miles with only moderately hard effort as part of a nearly 2 hour run.  Not too shabby.

Of course, I don’t dedicate an entire paragraph about how fast I am to brag yes I do, I do it all the time, that is the only reason people blog  but instead to show how far I’ve come in a relatively short period of time.  \

This national worldwide running day, take the time to look back in your running log or prior race history and see how far you’ve come over the last year or two years. Odds are, if you are TRYING to get faster (because, some people aren’t and that is just fine), you have made HUGE gains.  If not, it might be time to take a look at what you are doing...or maybe not doing...and make your 5K pace your new tempo pace.

Hey, it could happen, right?  Afterall, that 7:08 pace that I ran this morning? 2 years ago my tempo pace was 7:15.

How far have YOU come in your running over the last few years?

18 comments:

Chad Chisholm said...

My runs are definitely faster, but I'm running less total miles. Now I wonder how this will bode for my next marathon.

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

The most notable difference over the last 12 months is I started actively trying to improve my running, instead of just tolerating what why legs were doing.

Matt said...

One of my first races (summer 2009) was a weird distance: four miles. I huffed and puffed to a 28:04 (7:01/mi). Tomorrow I should be running an 8k in approximately the same time (5:40/mi).

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

I'm going to have to wait until next year to look back on my running:)

Shannon @I Survived and Now I Run said...

In the last 10 months of running I have made huge gains in my speed and how I run period..unfortunately I have just suffered a pelvic stress fracture 2 weeks ago and will be out for at least 4 months, but I will be continuing to blog and read others blogs as well...blessings!

Emily H said...

I feel like I've actually improved a lot in just the past few weeks.

As someone who is reeallly slow still, I have such a hard time imagining even an 8 min/mile pace being doable. It DOES become easier, right?

Running Through Phoenix said...

My running is about 2 minutes per mile faster than 2 years ago and my distances are 3 to 4 times as fast. The discipline of having a coach (oh YES the discipline!!) plus a head full of meanies I'm trying to outrun have made this a reality.

Jen said...

heheh…

two years ago… Just looked it up since you mentioned it - I had only started running and was still overweight… I decided to have a "good but easy run" at 4.6 mph (13:03 pace!) on the treadmill…

Ironically, I decided to do a "good but easy run" this morning and I did it at 6.0 mph on the street (10 min mile)

So yeah… I was shocked. I forgot that I once ran a 13 min mile. I don't remember being that much of a turtle!! But it's all good. Thanks for making me realize how far I've come…

Beckward1 said...

A year ago, I couldn't run the 3 mile loop around my town without a few rest/walk breaks. This year, I ran a marathon in March, April (Boston), and May (none scheduled for June. It's tough to find one in the North East in the summer). Wonder what next years going to be like (belt buckle?).

Sue's Ramblings said...

The journey has been incredible to say the least and these days, I'm being asked to fill up spots for local team events. Something unheard of in the past. BTW, it was a double workout day for me yesterday evening and my planned slow easy recovery run turned out to be a fast on on the second half. So so so stoked!

Yo Momma Runs said...

Crude and inspiring in the same post. You are awesome.:) I think I have gotten faster, but I also just learned yesterday what a tempo run even is. Why do runners have to be so complicated with their paces and words to replace more understandable words?

Erin said...

How did you know our secret Canadian holiday celebration ritual?? American spy! I started running consistently almost exactly a year ago now so my running has improved quite a bit. I went from not being able to run for 20 minutes without walking/dying to completing a half marathon 8 months. Now I've got the itch and I need to get FASTER!

Mark Matthews said...

I am your mirror image. No, I'm not doing exactly as you, everything is on the opposite side. My marathon pace runs are what my easy runs used to be, my intervals are what my tempo runs used to be, and it's either a bit grey or 'white' where dark hair used to be. But, I've got miles to go before I sleep.

TriMOEngr said...

Two years ago I was firmly planted on the couch. One year ago, I was training to just FINISH my first tri which I did with a 54 min 5K (having not done a stand alone 5K in like 10-15 years). Still a long way to go, but that is the up side of being so slow right now, right?

Meghan said...

I'm injured and ran a mile on the "holiday." Which sadly made me think about how far I am not going with all this time off!

Running Moose said...

two years ago I was running 6-7 miles as my long run, now I have a 50 and a 35 miler under my belt. I also was running slower having now finished a trail 6k in 3rd and a few AG medals in 5k-15k. Now? Back to the beginning after partially tearing my adductor twice in the last 8 months. Long run is 3 miles and fast pace is abt 9:50 per mile. I want to run more! But I also don't want a 3rd tear...

Vicky Cook said...

Started up again (after a......17 year break) 18 months ago when all I could manage was 3 miles at 10 min/mile pace. Roll on 18 months and I now have a 1:29 half PR and 3:13 debut marathon AND am pulling off some mid 6min/mile tempo miles in my long runs (but they really really...really hurt). Unfortunately I know what it feels like to be 16 and run 8 miles at 6:39 pace and for it to feel EASY, I won't stop until I get that feeling back! Glad to have happened upon your blog.