After reviewing the information in the "Evolution Running" DVD, I decided to try to incorporate some of what I learned into today's run. I have already been working on a mid-foot strike so the biggest change for me was using a metronome. I cheaped out and downloaded a 90 BPM metronome mp3 track rather than purchase an actual metronome. It worked out for this test, but I recommend going ahead and getting the real deal if you decide to try this training method. (The problem I had was that the track was only ten minutes long, and I could not figure out how to make the track play in a loop on my iphone...probably user error)
I set out on a new running route for this run, which was probably not the best choice, but I am not always known for my sound decision making. The route turned out to be much hillier than my other running routes. It was a good workout, but hard to compare with my ability on other routes.
It took about 100 yards or so to settle into the 180 BPM rhythm as it was quite a bit quicker than my normal stride, but once I got settled in, I found that the steady rhythm of the metronome was a big help in keeping me consistant both up hills and down. I practiced "falling" down the hills. It was a bit scary at first, but I was amazed at how fast I could run them while still recovering my wind from the up hill struggle.
I felt like I was short of breath quite a bit more on this run, even in the flatter portions, and was afraid that I was really dragging ass around the lake. However, to my surprise, I was actually holding a higher average pace than I normally do. I ran a total of 5.5 miles (the equivalent to my long run distances at this point) and shaved almost a full minute off my normal pace. But most importantly, even though I ran farther and faster than I normally do, I experienced zero knee pain through the entire run! I was honestly very worried after Saturday's run when my left knee started hurting, and was still stiff on Sunday and Monday. But after 5.5 miles of tough running (for me) with no pain, I am reassured that my goals are still attainable!
On the subject of goals, I have been thinking a lot about my running goals for the near future. I started running not really knowing what I wanted to do, or what I would be capable of doing, but as my first race is coming up this weekend, I find that I am already looking forward to the next on even before running the first! I have finished reading "Born to Run" and loved it! I have now started reading Dean Karnazes's book, "Ultramarathon Man." It is very inspirational to me, and although I have a long way to go, (I have no aspirations to run 262 miles..WOW!) I want to see how far I can push my body and what I can achieve.
I just had my 39th Birthday this past weekend, and I am sure this has had a lot to do with my introspection. I have decided on a couple of goals and am going to put them out here for all to see (not too big a step being as I doubt anyone reads this). My goal for this year is to run the Kansas City Half Marathon this fall, and then to finish my first full marathon at age 40. I never dreamed I would even consider such an undertaking, so this is going to be a life changing journey for me. I do not know where I will go from there. I am intrigued by the notion of running ultras, but I will have to let my body make that decision. In the mean time, I will just keep logging miles and increasing distances while enjoying the ride.
Summer of MAF
16 hours ago