Today was one of those runs I desperately needed. My life continues to cause me a lot of stress and my running seems to be the only thing going well (other than my sweet kids, loving husband, family and friends. of course*). I ran and lost myself in music and forgot about all the things that keep me up at night. It was great.
I decided to try using my heart rate monitor instead of pace to keep my training intensity where it should be. I checked my handy dandy chart and found that I should run a 10+ mile run around 142 beats per minute, based on my age. It was nice running by feel, although it was a little annoying to constantly check my heart rate monitor.**
My pace was a bit faster than what the recommended pace was. The chart suggests I run a 10+ mile run at 10:26 average pace. My pace for the twelve miles averaged just under 10:00 minute miles. I was very good at keeping my heartrate right at 142 or 143. I was able to lower it pretty quickly when it crept up toward 150 through my breathing or slowing down a bit.
I can really tell how economy changes during a run. When a good song came on my iPod, where I just zoned out and got into a nice groove, my heart rate would be right where it needed to be, yet my pace was faster than it had been (closer to 9:40). When my brain would start thinking about some of the crap going on in our lives and my heart rate would go up while my pace went down. If I took a deep breath, relaxed and just ran with the music, my heart rate dropped a beat or two and my pace leveled out.
It started out a bit chilly (low 60's feels chilly to me). I wore a short sleeve tech shirt that kept me relatively warm. It didn't take long for the sun to come out. It warmed up to the high 70's and the humidity seemed pretty high as well. I looked at the run as training for the AFC, since it is in August and was really hot last year. One thing I notice on sticky runs is that my face and head sweats more than anywhere else. My shirt doesn't get wet, but my face and pony tail are soaked. Does this happen to anyone else?
I was a bad girl at the end of the run. It did teach me something about coaching, however. I decided that the last mile I would bump up the intensity. I noticed on my pulse chart that the marathon heart rate for my age is listed around 157. I decided to run at that level for the last mile. That ended up being around a 9:15 pace.*** What it taught me about coaching is that if I can't follow my own simple advice, how will my clients? I think I am going to give clients a little bit of speed as an option, just to help them get it out of their system. It goes against some of my training, but I think that a little boost for a runner's confidence is a good thing. I would rather allow a little wiggle room than have them toss the training plan out completely.
Here are my stats for the run:
distance- 12.25 miles
average pace- 9:52
It was my best run of the week. I feel better than I did before the run. Hooray for mental health runs.
*We are actually pretty blessed in this regard. I can't imagine what we would do without the love and support we have received.
**I have the Garmin 205, which doesn't have the heart rate monitor. I already had one before purchasing the Garmin and thought it would be redundant to get the 305. In retrospect, I think it would have been nice to splurge on the 305 (which is on sale at Costco right now, btw) so I didn't have to wear two different bulky watches. Oh well...
***That is not very good news for a sub-four marathon. However, it is still only two weeks since the RNR and this was my first long run since then.