Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wk9/D4 - An Unexpectedly Awesome LSD 13K :) :)

13K @1:30:12
Avg. Pace 6:57/km

Avg. Moving Pace 6:50/km

Roll me in chocolate and cover me with nuts !! What a great, great running week for me !! :)

First, there was my 10K race PR at the FCRR on Sunday. Then there was my successful first attempt at a hill workout on Tuesday, followed by a terrific experience with my first tempo run on Thursday. I honestly was not expecting to have today's whipped cream and cherry on top. :)

Backing up 24 hours ... I did attend my Kundalini yoga class last night. I was set to run to class, too, before a mini thunderstorm rolled in. I used my running time to cuddle with a quivering Wallace on the couch before it ended and driving instead (he has developed a fear of storms in the last year for some reason :( - poor little fella!). My yoga class was great as usual, and we focused on 'Reconnecting with the Psyche' after our warm-up exercises. I noticed how much 'easier' it was to hold my plank pose (improved upper body strength), and how my balance is improving with some standing poses. :) Perhaps it is just as well that I didn't run because I am sure my body appreciated the rest.

Today is the first time that I have ever headed out for a 13K run without feeling a little anxious. Even though I have run this length 3X before without walking, I still have it in my head that this is a challenging distance for me to run. Today is the first time I have truly felt confident about running it from beginning to end. :)

When I headed out with the boys into the sunshine and cool-ish breeze, I coached myself on making sure this was a nice and easy run. My training book instructs me to resist running fast, even if I am feeling faster, because today's scheduled run is all about building endurance and taking it easier after two separate, harder workouts earlier in the week. I promised myself to resist looking at my Garmin too much, and just to run at a pace that felt right to me regardless.

And I did just that. :) It was a gorgeous day so I spent my time people watching. There were quite a few people out in Springbank Park in this glorious weather so there was plenty to see. Three women doing yoga together in the sunshine. A significant number of elderly people out for a stroll. There were several families walking together and interesting to me, there were far more little dogs being walked today than medium or large dogs. There were other runners out, too, but less than the number of cyclists and walkers using the paths. A few people were out on rollerblades, although this seems to have decreased in popularity in the last few years. There were several canoes out on the river, which was picturesque, and the merry-go-round at Storybook Gardens was open officially for business. :)

That last paragraph is just my way of proving how I spent my time while running ... I concentrated on what was going on all around me rather than focusing on pace or distance or wondering how I was performing ...

I admit that I did look at my Garmin a couple of times. The first few times, my pace was 6:30 and 6:45, which made me feel great! And on the third time I checked, my pace was 7:30. This is when I decided that I wouldn't check it again until I reached a certain landmark (the dog park in Greenway Park) because this is when I would need to check it for distance.

I kept my promise. :) My dogs and I paced each other for another 5km+ before I reached the dog park. This was the first time that I checked my 'Distance' and 'Time' data fields: 12.2K and 1:25 and change. WOW !! I am sure my eyes bugged out of my head like a cartoon character because suddenly realizing that I was in a position to finish my 13K in under 1:30 made me gleeeeeeeeeful! :) :) So I started really running. How funny to realize that, in the 13th km, usually my most difficult km, I was able to find some energy to run faster. :)

But this is when life intervenes ... in a funny way. :) As I am running and grinning, thinking about the great, ego-boosting time I am about to accomplish, there is a confluence of park users. There is the lady walking her husky dog (not quite in control), the mother on her bike with her young daughter on another bike (they yo-yoed with me 3X for several kms), and a car rounding the curve, crossing our paths to enter the dog park parking lot ... and me! I see this all happening so I remove myself from the mix by jumping off the path away from everyone onto a grassy knoll with the intention of returning to the path when it's clear ... and this is when I am pulled to a full, dead stop. A 90 lb. dog and a 40+ lb. dog, in unison, figured that a grassy section on our run was meant as a 'pee break' for them! I couldn't be angry because the sight of the two of them together, peeing, looking up at me with relief, was priceless. :) :)

With their bladders emptied, we resumed running and I pushed the pace in an effort to finish my 13K before my watch showed 1:30. I looked like a crazy person, running down the path with my left arm held out and bent in front of me, watching the time data field on my Garmin, praying I could beat 1:30! I so wanted that to happen! :) But as it turns out, I needed an additional 12 seconds to run a full 13K, and after stopping my watch, I caught myself pumping the air with fisted right arm with happiness. :) :)

With a big smile on my face, I walked 2.16 km home, showered, and went out for a celebratory lunch with Benny {he had a great morning with his friends doing his passion/hobby and had done very well too! :) }.

As I type, I am feeling the runner's after-high, and Wallace is snoring loudly. :P I declared an earlier week in my training program a great one, but I have to say now that it's in second place because this week rocked! :) :)

Rest day tomorrow and a scheduled 8K for Monday. Happy weekend, everyone !! :)


  1. Wow, what a day. You are really progressing and starting to relax and run well. Just think where you were and how you feel now.

    I bet if you did not look at that Garmin on the last you may have made it. I find that you slow down as you check it.

    Keep it going but remain smart as you are doing and stick to the program. Greater things await.

  2. @Runnerbill - You may have a point about the Garmin! The faster I am becoming, the more attention I am starting to pay to it so I am going to try ignoring it (except when needed during certain workouts) for the next two weeks until track work. And I am to stay smart, knowing that I will be called on it when I am not - LOL!