Weekend Running Recap: A Better Practice Run

Yesterday morning I headed back to North Park to do another practice run on the JASR 5K course. There was a race going on, but I didn't know it was a 50K ultra-marathon until I was leaving. Hats off to all the runners who did it!

It was 50 and windy (what's new?) but not as severe as last week. This time, the hill on McKinney Road didn't seem as bad. I was mentally prepared for it and had a strategy. I let myself slow down and focused on my breathing and my form, especially keeping my shoulders relaxed and unclenched. This time I realized the hill levels out in the middle, which gave me a bit of a reprieve before getting to the top. At the top I wasn't wasted like last week. It was tough, but doable.

Still, I found myself thinking, "Man, I hate this course." Then it hit me--this is the course that will help me improve as a runner. The easy runs on the flat river trail are fine some of the time, but I need to incorporate tough routes I hate into my training. My final time for the 3.1 miles was 31:02 for a 10:00 even pace. I really wanted to be under 30:00, but I'm not beating myself up about it like I was last week. If I would have done more practice runs, I think I could have improved, but time has run out. The race is next Saturday.

After my run, I took Django to the Bellevue Dog Park. It was another mini workout for me, as he's a water hound and there's a pond in the park--filled with dirty, muddy water. I kept running over to the pond to tell him "No," but he can sprint across the whole park before I even know he's gone. Guess who won? Of course, it's not enough for him to get in the pond. He has to lie down in it and drink from it too.

I was looking forward to today's run because it was cool and cloudy--my ideal running weather. While I'll be happy to see an end to the worst winter I can remember, I will definitely miss going out on Noon runs when it's still nice and cool out. Once the hot and humid weather kicks in, it will be back to pre-dawn runs for me.

Today's scheduled run was a 50-minute easy run. I relaxed and enjoyed it and took the easy route on the river trail down past the casino and back. The wind on the way out made it cold, but on the return trip with the wind at my back I got pretty warm. Overall, it was a nice run. Time: 50:01, Distance: 4.53 miles; Pace: 11:02.

This upcoming week will be a taper week before Saturday's race.

Weekly Recap

Total weekly mileage: 14.75

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