Again, sorry for the gap – Life and work have both been slightly more pressing than being one hand clapping. But the running’s been good.
Christian and I picked up where we left off way back in August this morning. It was humid, humid, this morning in downtown Newport, but the run was pretty good. Chris had taken most of September off while I was gone, but we managed the first mile in 8 minutes. I did the last two miles by myself at 8:26 and 8:10. The hill on Memorial is starting to get easier. It’s still an effort, but it’s not the wall that it was a couple of months ago.
I talked with Christian as we were cooling down – he’s going to try starting out more slowly when we run on Thursday. The Forerunner comes in really handy here – I usually set the “virtual partner” for 9 minute miles then work out exactly how fast I’m running in my head by the distance gap I’ve opened on the partner. Keeps my mind working on something other than “Dear god, are my lungs really trying to climb out my throat?” What I’d really like, though, would be the option to start the partner say half a mile ahead of me and then try to catch it. In any case, Thursday I’ll try to stay with the virtual partner to see if we can drag Chris any further.
Monday’s run made me proud. Stopped on Jamestown on the way home from work, set the virtual partner for 8:40 pace for 40 minutes, and tried to see if I could actually open a gap on it. I was skeptical – for whatever reason, I was feeling a bit beaten down. I was also upping the time I was going to run – I’ve been doing a half hour most days, but think I need to up the effort to keep getting results. The day was incredible – right around 70, blue skies, light breeze.
Left the park and started running towards the south end of the island. First mile crested a decent hill – 8:14. Second mile was almost all downhill, but I was conservative since I knew I was going to have to press back uphill. 8:22. Third mile I got to the turnaround, sprinted a little bit on the beach thinking thoughts of getting chased along the beach at NAS Pensacola by Drill Instructor Staff Sergant Hyler, United States Marine Corps. Good stuff. Then started heading back up the hill I’d been running down. Mile 3 – 8:49 (Yep, the partner gained 100′ or so on me).
The fourth mile was really tough. As I went past the half hour mark, I guess psychologically my mind started wondering “Hey, WTF? I cooperated, it’s time to stop.” Sorry, I thought back, but we’ve got improvement to do. The last tenth of the fourth mile was steep, steep, steep, and I broke down and walked about 20 yards. Mile 4 – 8:37, which suprised me – I though I would have lost a lot more time.
Buoyed by the good results from the fourth mile, despite a little cheating, I really opened it up for the remainder of the time. I had just under 6 minutes left to go, and wanted to see if I could really blow it out. My lungs were burning, legs aching, and I was sweating like a pig, but somehow the endorphins kept me going to the end. last lap was 0.81 miles in 6 minutes, a 7:26 pace.