Just A Little Faster

I’m in the Bay Area visting my mom and sister (and some of my favorite dogs, too!) and am getting ready for my first long run down here since the Silicon Valley Marathon 3 years ago.

I ran that one after a LOT of training – pretty hard work. I’d wake up early  during the week, drive to Lake Washington, run a mile and a half to get warmed up, and then run a lot of fast miles – 3 miles at a 6.30 pace, followed by some half mile increments at well below a 6 minute pace, another 3 mile increment at a 6.30 pace and then I’d head back home and on to work.

A lot has changed since then – I have more responsibility at work, I moved in with my girl, and lots more.  But lately, I’ve been training for another marathon (Vancouver, in May) and my brother and I are going to run it together. And while we aren’t looking to break any records – I’ve found myself back at Lake Washington (this time during my lunch hour) to run some speedy miles again.

At three years remove from those last speed sessions  -things are different!

  • The mile markers have all worn off! The trail and street have been paved and painted – so I’m relying on memory for where those markers are!
  • The warmup really matters. Even three years ago – I could go from zero to fast without much of a warmup – but now, not so much.
  • I don’t recover as quickly – a hard effort still feels great (maybe not in the moment, mind you) but I can’t do it every day.

And some things are the same:

  • There is a particular focus and clarity that comes with hard effort that I’ve missed. It’s heated, like sun through a magnifying glass. And it happens when I run near my top effort.
  • When I run hard and then later, run at a more relaxed pace – I feel great. It’s like revving a car engine and then settling into cruise. The hard effort makes the medium effort and the easy effort easier. So I run those faster, too – but only because my perception of hard has changed.

So tomorrow I’ll get up early (but not too early) and I’ll run along the Los Gatos Creek Trail. three years ago, I did my best there, to try and break the 3 hour mark in the marathon, and I missed. So I’ll get to revisit that trail, rememeber that race, get in a nice long run (15 miles, in case you want to know) and I’ll have the good company of my sister and my girl and maybe my nephew along the way. And perhaps a great cup of coffee after – or a pint!

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2 Comments to “Just A Little Faster”

  1. And I\’ll be running all by myself in the cold Seattle wet. Heck of a deal.

  2. Hey, I\’m doing everything you guys are doing.  Just slower.  And not as many miles.  But other than that, I\’m with you!

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