Sunday, September 1, 2013

PR-ing as a Total Surprise

For the past month I have adopted a new running route. I used to go from my parents house along 1500 east to sugarhouse park and back. This was my route (unless I needed to go for a long run during training) for a long time. And, I'm done with it. Even now when I think I want to go for a shorter run I would still rather go on my new, longer, route. I'm just bored of it. I think that route was, like, 1.5 miles? I don't think I ever actually recorded it.

Anyway, above is a screenshot from my new route via run keeper (which is a handy running app. Although I had to severely alter the settings because the woman's voice reminding me every 5 minutes that I've been running for 5 more minutes was killing me). The picture doesn't show a full loop because I started it and stopped it when I was running. The missing part of the loop includes my warm up and cool down.

Today was the first day I remembered to use my run keeper to see how far I have actually been running. When I changed my route this just seemed like a good one, as far as length and difficulty, but was not a route I had chosen because I had checked it's distance or elevation changes.

The first few blocks of my run are flat, then there is a very steep uphill block, followed by a little over half a mile of a very mild incline. Today I ran the first half as hard as I could, it just exploded out of me, and after I had finished the uphill (the last half of the run is flat or slightly downhill) portion I decided to check the app and see how I had done so far. I really wish I had taken a screen shot of that moment because I had run 1.2 miles in 8 minutes and 43 seconds. UPHILL. I have never run a mile (or just over a mile) that fast in my life. Like, for real. However, right after I had finished the uphill portion I had to walk for almost a block because I was drowning in my own sweat.

The walking for a bit and my slow restart after the walk really killed my average pace (as you can see, a 13 minute mile does not suggest I actually ran at all). But, I am really surprised. Part of me wonders if it's a fluke. About two years ago when I was running at least 3 times a week I think my fastest mile was about a 10 minute mile, which I was proud of.

I think I can attribute today's victory to my weightlifting days, specifically my leg days. This is the first year (starting this summer) where I've done any major sort of lifting and it's making a difference. However, the past month or so I have felt more accomplished after my runs, when I come home literally dripping in sweat, barely able to jog another step, than my lifting days. But, it's important to remember that it is because of the lifting I am accomplishing more on my runs.

That reminds me, I've been adding some more to my workout routines, or I guess just slightly changing it up. Now, with the exception of leg day, my warm ups consist of the stair master (instead of the bike) and after my runs I've been doing some lunging around the back yard. It's not a major change, but I hope to see some results because of it.