Putting Me Through My Paces

Maybe it’s because I’m a natural sprinter or because I’m hyper-competitive, but I’m terrible at pacing my training runs. I have gotten slightly better this training cycle, but apparently I still live (and die) by Steve Prefontaine’s motto “The best pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die”.

I’m slowly starting to learn that I don’t have to race my training runs, but I struggle with the idea that I shouldn’t be giving 100% every time as if a slower paced run isn’t worth it. Going to a group run every Tuesday has helped with this issue, but I still need a lot of work in order to prevent overtraining and injuries, both of which I have struggled with over the years.

I was particularly thinking about these pacing issues today for two main reasons. First, my legs are absolutely dead and I really have struggled the past two days. They are probably partially dead, because I think my shoes are almost ready to be retired and we had the first really warm day yesterday, which, as any runner knows, is a struggle after running in cooler temperatures for weeks. I also biked for the first time on Sunday in a very long time, so that could be part of it. However, I do believe a little bit of the deadness is from pushing it a bit too hard the past few days and really the past few weeks of the training cycle. Second, I will be running the Sole of the City 10k on Saturday, however, I don’t want to overdo it, and want to use it as the first 6.2 miles of my 8 mile training run, because I have two ten milers (GW Parkway Classic and Broad Street) coming up within the next month. This will be a struggle for me, because I usually aim for a PR every time I run, which I acknowledge is completely unrealistic. Also, against my better logic, I have some bizarre idea that people notice when I’m running slowly as if people a)care b)have a built in radar gun in their heads. I was able to take it easy the last 5k I ran, so hopefully I can rein it in for at least the first half of the race this weekend. Fortunately, I can pretty much guarantee a PR, because the only other 10k I ran was a crowded trail run in scorching heat, so I guess there’s that.

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling and go back to watching the Orioles and preventing myself from eating more cookie butter.

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