Tuesday, September 18, 2012

To cool to go slow

I have been told it won't last, that its just a temporary state but I don't care I am LOVING the cooler weather that's around Houston at the moment. I feel like I have just been gifted for the first time and all at once, all of the benefit from the hard work I have put in over the summer. I knew the heat and humidity made even the conservative long run pace of 8:00-8:30 seem not so conservative all summer long but it's not until now that I get to see just how much.

I feel like I've just been given 1 minute/mile for free. Ok, so I have said previously how, after a lot of questions and research I have come to understand and 100% accept that there are reasons Coach Doug sets the pace ranges he does for me and that it's very important for me to stick to them. AND stick to them I have, as I said it hasn't been too difficult because 8:00 - 8:30 for 15 miles when it's hot and humid can begin to feel a bit like hard work! 

I have the pace I need to run for a sub 3 hour marathon on my fridge and after some of those not so easy long runs at around 2 minutes a mile slower than the pace I need I have had my doubts. I mean I know I'll get there, I really really want it so badly and I am prepared to work as hard as it takes to get there. But some Saturday mornings I have trudged home, soaked to the skin, still 2/3 lbs lighter than when I left the house despite drinking a ton of water, feeling maybe it will take a bit longer than I had hoped. 

My 5ks have been very disappointing all summer, I struggle to keep with H and N sometimes on long runs and yet when I get on the treadmill I can pull off 6:30miles and feel relaxed and finish feeling like there's more in the tank. I knew (hoped) it was just the heat and come cooler weather I would start to show some progress and I am confident I will.

So last Saturday, despite my resolve to stick to the paces set, I lost my discipline. We started off for the 1st 5 of 15, timed so that we would meet up with the group at 6:30 for the final 10 mile loop and thus complete our 15. The 1st 5 were on target 8-8:30 and the 1st 3 of the loop were well behaved but I just felt so good, it was so cool and I felt like a different runner so I decided to throw down some faster miles. Coach would understand. 
Here's what happened:

8:57, 8:25, 8:11, 8:13, 8:12, 8:27, 8:13, 7:49, 7:13, 7:22, 7:52, 7:33, 7:27, 7:27, 6:43. 

I know these aren't hugely impressive but they felt so easy (well, not the last one, I felt that one!) I was working but I just felt like a different runner. I usually feel like I am weighed down, and drag myself round, especially the last few miles. These were light and bouncy. FUN. I CAN RUN! I thought I could, I mean I used to be able to and had hoped the ability hadn't deserted me! 

To put this in perspective, my last 5k was on a hot and steamy day a couple of weeks prior and my middle mile was 6:4?, the last one was 6:3?. I wasn't taking it easy, I gave it what I had I just feel like I'm treading water when I get too hot. I don't feel able to attack a run in the way I can when I feel cool, feeling cold is even better. It can't really get too cold for me running wise. 

So I have come to the conclusion that I need to move back to Scotland to get the most out of my running. Unfortunately my husband doesn't think this alone is a good enough reason to move our entire family - can you believe that? ;)

Hope you are all enjoying some nice cool running weather wherever you are. I wonder if anyone prefers it to be on the warmer side? Please send all your best 'cool' thoughts for my 10 miler which is 4 weeks away and counting!


  1. I know EXACTLY how you feel! That long run looks great. I can't WAIT for those temps here. They're saying only a few more weeks...

    Keep working! You got this!

  2. Wishing some cool weather your way soon, it's so good! You'll be like a running goddess when it hits!

  3. Good luck on the 10 miler! Its so nice to get some cooler weather after the crazy hot summer. I can understand why the treadmill feels so much easier. Its not real easy running in a sauna.
    Good luck!

  4. Heat & humidity are pace killers! They drive me crazy. You will be stronger because if them and I'm betting you will surprise yourself at that 10 Miler :) can't wait to read about it!!

  5. It's probably more than a little sad how much I like seeing 3 of my favorite, most inspiring runners whom I stalk emmm follow, all reply to the same post! You all make me want to be a faster, stronger runner!
    I appreciate it :)