Monday Runday: Out with the Old, In with the New

Last week I shared some of my running and fitness goals from last year (none of which I achieved) and my hopes for 2016 (we’ll see in 12 months).

This weekend I had two experiences that perfectly encapsulated both the missed goals and my upcoming hopes.

New Year’s Eve was the Fairfax Four Miler, a night race around downtown Fairfax. Love the sweatshirt!

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For the race I decided to wear my SportKilt: clergy tartan. Because why not:

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I knew it was going to be a fun night before I even got out of the car. They’d given out glow sticks at packet pickup, but mine didn’t have a connector to make it into a necklace. Fortunately I rummaged through the detritus in my car and found an old drinking straw:

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MacGyver Runner! Let’s do this!

As for the race itself, I wasn’t particularly fast. I wasn’t fast on an absolute scale, and I wasn’t fast for me. But I felt great about this race. Before I got injured, I ran faster. But now post injury, I’m running smarter.

Since I’ve been back to running I’ve been working hard on run cadence. Many coaches and running experts encourage a faster cadence (close to 180 strides per minute) as a way to avoid overstriding, heel striking, and other form issues that can lead to injury. My cadence pre-injury wasn’t great–in fact I’m guessing it contributed to my stress fracture–so I’ve been intentional about increasing it by about 10 strides per minute.

Here’s a bit of a screen shot from my Garmin at Thursday night’s race. See all that green? That means I was in an ideal cadence for much of the race–and I wasn’t thinking about it. Yay!

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I have no idea what the red is.

 

I wrote last week that my goal is to run races without checking my Garmin, instead running by feel. This was my first experience doing that and I really liked it. My goal was to run easy, which I did, but I was excited to see I maintained a consistent pace throughout. I often go out too fast and flame out midway through.

Part of the reason I took the race easy is because I wanted to have fresh legs for a mile time trial on my birthday. So Saturday morning (in 27 degree temperatures) I met a bunch of other intrepid ladies at a track in Springfield. We shared birthday treats, laughs, fleet miles, and some bleachers afterwards.

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This was my first time running a mile time trial with other people around, and with all the excitement and energy I went out way too fast. Like, more than a minute per mile faster than I should. I paid for that in lap three, which is always the one where I want to cry and die.

I finished my mile about 12 seconds slower than a year ago, 26 slower than six months ago. That’s better than I feared, though worse than I secretly hoped. But it’s a snapshot in time–and it was fun to do it on my birthday.

Most importantly, my leg didn’t hurt, at the race or during the mile.

Most MOST importantly, I experienced both the race and the mile surrounded by the most supportive, courageous, badass runner girls you can imagine.

I wish you the best in your own fitness goals–whatever they are.

2 thoughts on “Monday Runday: Out with the Old, In with the New

  1. Sarah Erickson

    Still working on my fitness goals, which will include regular walking, regular swimming, and something new but not sure what. Will also likely include climbing Stone Mountain 4x (approx. quarterly).
    Happy New Year, happy fitness, happy healthy,
    S

    Reply

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