Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Race for a Pace

My pace sucks! I just can’t figure it out! I ran and walked 5.25 miles tonight, in very warm conditions, and just could not find a pace that worked. Everything seemed too fast in that I ran out of steam, starting out fairly strong and feeling good, but running out of stamina and feeling so hot towards the end.

This is two runs in a row where it just seemed like too much. Both of these were under very warm conditions. When I got back tonight, I was literally dripping with sweat. I took off my training shirt and put on a cotton tee, and within minutes, it was soaked.

I started off running nearly five minutes at a time and walking two. By the last 1.5 miles, I was walking about 3 or 4 and running 3 or 4. The route took me about 59 minutes, which is about an 11.25 minute mile pace for running and walking combined. This translates to just under a 2:30 half marathon, which is my goal. But there is no way I would have sustained this pace for a half marathon the way I felt tonight.

I just have no sense of how fast I run, or how slow. Clearly it is better than an 11 minute mile. But is it 10.5? 10? 9.5? 9? Faster? I have no idea. And what is the best pace for me to sustain it without getting out of breath and tired after 5 minutes? With my race in less than eight weeks, I should know all this. Maybe I should try some miles on a treadmill again where I can just run at a set pace and see how it feels. Clearly if I am to get serious about this, I need to figure this out, and probably ultimately buy a runners GPS receiver.

A few weeks ago, running and walking 4 miles seemed so easy at about a 10:30 pace overall. A week ago, my friend Kathy and I ran for about 55 minutes together, with just a few walk short breaks and a minute here or there to look at something interesting, or to figure out where we were going. But both times, I was with someone and the weather was about 15-20 degrees cooler. Running with someone always seems easier for me to match a pace, I guess because they know what they are doing and I just have to run along with them.

I am reading a book that I am really enjoying: “Born to Run.” But right now, I sure don’t feel born to run. I know I can do better, but I need to learn how to pace myself at a speed that is not too fast or too slow, but is just right.


Cheryl said...

Hi Art, I know nothing about running but is this not just one of those things that happens occasionally. I know many sportsman and they all appear to have 'blips'.
Obviously the hot weather does not suit you when you are running......

Hope things fall into place soon....i am pretty sure they will.

Good luck.

TNTcoach Ken said...

Mama said there would be days like that! It could be a variety of things but the 'heat' does take it out of a body. Check your hydration and fueling also, they may be lacking. I always say I'm getting the bad runs out of the way and making room for good runs....