Friday, February 24, 2012

I Do Love Running Fast

I'm starting to understand this running addiction idea.

Long, long ago, like when Jimmy Carter was President, I was a running addict. Six or seven days a week, 50 mile weeks regularly. Of course, I was on a team, so that helped motivate me. But I kept it up in the off-season too.

Since then, most of the last 30+ years I've been running 2-3 days a week, or less. Still a runner, still enjoying running. But at a different level. I proudly posted on this site when I started blogging that I was NOT a running addict. Because those people were crazy.

Well, this past year I have stepped it up. I am running 4 and 5 days a week, plus gym days and some triathlon cross training, so I workout about 6 days a week. Consequently, I am getting in the best shape I have been in since college. My age-graded times are the best since then. More importantly, I have rediscovered the love, no, the passion for running. It seems like I end almost every workout exhilarated, high on endorphins, happy and satisfied, feeling like I could do more. I keep making the runs longer and faster, and my body just responds with "More please". No runs are chores. I look forward to every workout now. Starting to feel the addiction.

So last night was speed day. After Sunday's 21 mile "tempo". I went right back out and did 6 Monday and 7 Tuesday. Gym on Wednesday. Thursday's run was 3x2 mile intervals with 1/2 mile cool downs, 1 mile before and after for a total of 9. I did this workout 4 weeks ago and averaged 7:11 on the speed miles, so the goal was to beat that.

This run went just like the last one, only faster. My first mile was slower (7:22) because it takes me a little while to warm up, but then I got it into gear in mile 2 and ran the last 1/2 mile at about 6:45 pace to finish with a 7:05.

The 2nd 2 mile I started right up at sub 7 and then had to make myself ease off. Ran 7:10 and 6:54! I always accelerate the 2nd mile because I just feel good and I know I can do it. Having this endurance in the tank really makes speed work fun. I can crank it up to a fast pace and just hold it. I love the feeling of flying down the road at sub-7 pace and feeling strong and like I could go forever.

The 3rd 2 mile was similar. 7:08 and 6:54. So my 6 speed miles averaged 7:05, and the last 5 averaged 7:02. And I left a little in the tank too.

Today is my rest day and I almost feel guilty, but I plan to do 10 Saturday and 18 Sunday so I am excited for that.

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