As a quick check-in on this month before today's scheduled post ... I'm sucking with cross-training this week, though I did manage an hour of yoga which I've been meaning to do for about two months now, so yay me.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled blog post ...
I'd like to take a small trip back into what I shall call T's Exercise History.
I started running regularly after I graduated college in 2005. Lone Tree (my hometown) decided to host a 4th of July 5K and I thought it would be fun to run the stupid thing. I think I trained ... for a couple weeks at least ... I don't really remember now. My time: 35:17. Go me. I ran pretty sporadically after that for the following year, but I started working out fairly regularly and ended up chopping a whole bunch of time of for a 31:31 in my second ever 5K (same damn race).
In 2007, my time in that race went to poo (35:49), despite the fact that it was my third race that season. It was also hot as all hell (pushing 100 degrees by the finish) and I had an asthma attack. Woo. That summer was also the summer of the bodybugg in which I went insane.
It was also the summer/fall I ran most consistently and got my 5K PR (which still stands) of 26:27. There's a race up in the small mountain town of Buena Vista, Colo., every September called the Autumn Color Run. It's fairly low-key ... or was up until last year when it started NOT being fun which is why we didn't do it this year (among other reasons). In any case, the course is pretty much ideal for setting PRs. Sure, it's at 8,000 feet, but it's 3.11 miles that's all downhill (well, it seems flat, but you actually lose elevation over the whole race). In other words, it's a fast course.
Last year, in my frustrating year of running, I still managed to pull a 27:35.5 out of my butt on it (8:52.85/mi).
Getting back on track to summer/fall '07, around the time of Autumn Color, I was consistently averaging around an 8:30/mi. It was, in a word, awesome. And then depression really started setting in (stupid bodybugg making me insane ... as well as working at 24hour). And then I yanked the damn thing off my arm in October and started eating like crap again and didn't work out or do anything active for about three weeks. And, worst of all ... I kinda quit running.
I picked it back up again (if you want to count running 1-2 miles each time out picking it up again) back in late late '07/early '08 when I first started dating my blog partner and fiance here, Brandon.
I've been running relatively consistently ever since (and ridiculously consistently since at least may '09), but I've never been able to get back to the point I was at in '07 with those damn 8:30/miles. If I'm honest with myself, it's been hard getting consistent average times under a 10:00/mi since then.
However, this year's been a bit different. While it took me for-freaking-ever to crack the 10:00/mi barrier last year (and i managed under it for less than a month)(woo september), I've done it with some regularity this year. Hell, I finally cracked 30:00 in the stupid Lone Tree race this year and I've been trying for that for six damn years.
I'd probably be regularly in the 9s, but I've also been running a lot more and a lot longer distances (not the 3 mile "long runs" of yore, but more like 8-12) and we all know that longer distance runs are going to be slower than your normal pace. They're called endurance runs for a reason.
In any case, all this rambling brings us to today. Despite my craptacular times last year, I still managed to break the 9:00/mi barrier twice; once in the Autumn Color Run and one other time.
This year, I still can't freaking manage it. I have this 4.69 mile loop around here. If I go the way I like, it's a lot of gradual downhill and then up one nasty trail hill and home. I've been getting some speedy (for me) times on it and got a 9:01/mi a week or two ago.
That loop was today's run (a 4-5 miler on the schedule). Even though I had a headwind for a good chunk of the downhill portions, I felt like I still blazed through it. The results? 42:16.68 ... for a 9:00.87/mi. AAAAAAARRRRGGGGHHH. SO CLOSE to sub-9. SO CLOSE!
Someday soon, I hope.