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Trapped at Nines (Updated) March 21, 2008

Posted by KG in Running.
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The weather has been typical for DC in March, variable with a chance of unpredictability.  It’s been difficult to know from day to day whether or not I’ll need to run in a knit cap with a jacket and base layer or in a tank top.  In fact, that was the difference between my Wednesday run (tank top) and Thursday run (hat, etc.)  Wednesday was a new path for me, from my office to Fletcher’s Boat House and then up the Capital Crescent Trail for a bit, before returning to the office via the C&O canal towpath.  Thursday was more standard, a lap around the eastern half of the Mall.

The two runs were completely different: warm and humid vs. cold and windy, on fresh legs vs. tired legs, daytime vs. night.  The Wednesday run was about 5 miles, the Thursday one closer to 4.  And yet my ultimate pace for both was roughly the same, with a steady average of 9 minute miles.  This in and of itself wouldn’t be strange save for the fact that I’ve been running 9 minute miles for weeks.  It’s been my average pace on all of my long Sunday runs, regardless of weather, fatigue, and route.  The most troubling aspect is that I’ve been trying to go faster — and have felt I was going faster — on my shorter (4-7) mile runs for weeks now, and it hasn’t happened. 

There’s no smart reason I should be frustrated, as the mitigating factors are many.  For one thing, I have yet to do a long run 100% fresh (that is, without having done a strength workout or Crossfit metcon prior).  And the runs have started to feel slightly easier as time has gone on.  Still, I’m a guy.  The idea of 9 minute miles being “good enough” isn’t something I really understand. 

UPDATE: Long run, 3/23?  Felt great.  A few dicey moments where I played traffic dodge and/or ended up in places I should not have been, but overall a strong feeling run, 63 minutes.  I mapped my route when I got home.  7.12 miles, or 8.85 minute miles.

FEH.

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