I’ve been planning to write a post about winter running for a while now. However, last I checked, spring has officially started, so it seems like the time to comment on my winter running experience has passed. Long story short: I ran about 20 miles per week for the whole winter. I also had a bit of success in indoor track meets. Overall, it feels awesome to be entering April having run for the past 5 months, rather than starting from scratch as usual.
Today, I ran a local 10K. Since I didn’t do many runs longer than 4 miles over the winter, I saw the race as a long tempo run. Toeing the line just before 10:30 this morning in beautiful 50 degree weather, I decided to run without my watch, and just see what I could do with a consistent push.
The first 5K was great. I was able to keep a decent pace without tiring myself out too much. Another runner I know caught up to me and we worked off each other a lot. When we came to the 5K turnaround, they called out that my split was 19:46.
19:46 was great, but it also presented a problem. I’ve never run a sub 40-minute 10K (it’s possible that I ran one in high school, but I think I only ran one 10K back then, and I don’t remember the time). In fact, I can’t remember the last time I ran sub 44. So, I was presented with this fortuitous and spur-of-the-moment opportunity to run sub 40 here, and that meant that the second half of the race was going to get pretty hard. Almost immediately I felt like I was hitting a wall. Luckily the way back to the finish was net-(gradual)-downhill. By focusing on taking quick strides and just pushing as much as possible, I was able to get back and finish in 39:01 (a negative split!). This is a good start to the warm season; I normally start the summer with a 2-month period of getting back in shape, but now I get to enjoy working off of a decent base. Woo!