Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Comeback is Real

On Monday, I ran my fastest four-miler of the year.  Today, I ran a 33:54 5K.  That doesn't stack up against my 5K times from 2007-2012, but it's my fastest 5K distance since the beginning of February.  In the 3 good months of running that I've had, this is the first time I've been under 34 minutes and kept a better than 11-minute mile pace.

And they have been good months:

I was a little bit faster in January in February, but far less consistent in getting out there.  Since August, when I got the Garmin Vivoactive, which made tracking all this stuff automatic and totally Brian-proof, my previous highest monthly mileage was 21 miles in January, followed a 13-mile February and a 14.7-mile March.   In April, I ran 38 miles.  May was 43.2, and June, unless I run tomorrow instead of Saturday, will wind up at 42.1 miles.

I used to run 30+ miles every week, and sometimes I can't help but remember that and be frustrated, but the picture above tells the story of the longest stretch of consistent running since January, February, and March of 2016, and I'm sticking with it even as the weather warms up.  This is huge for me.  If I can keep this up during the dog days of July and August, it will be the first consistent summer of running that I've had since 2011.

That plateau that you see above, that's not going to get much higher over the summer.  I'm ok with that.  The mileage I'm running now compares to what I was doing in summer of 2008, when I was reliably running 2.8 miles (2 laps) 3-4x/week at Cousler Park. I ran for almost two years before I attempted a distance over 3.1 miles, but building that base helped me when I did move up to the 10K and half marathon, and it'll help me again now.  If I can grind through the summer, I'll be ready when fall and winter come.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Putting it all Together

I despise running in the summer.  I'm committed to consistency until cooler weather returns, by which I mean getting out for 3-4 miles (usually will be 3) 3-4 times a week, but I've decided I'm not going to put a lot of effort into pushing myself on pace or distance until it does cool down.

Still, it's very nice when I get a slightly cooler, less humid morning like today and what's probably my best run of the year.  I was faster back during the few weeks in January and February, but today I ran my fastest four-miler of the year, 44:33 (11:08 pace), beating my previous best from this year by exactly minute and crushing my four-milers from May and June by 2-plus minutes.  Today hurt.  It was a beautiful morning, but it was still warm by my standards.  But today's run makes me very confident that if I stay consistent, that I'll be able to get myself back to a sub-30 5K and a sub-40 four-miler sooner rather than later.  I will probably never be as fast as I was in my early 30s, and I don't care about that, but I'd like to achieve both of those goals by the end of 2017.

How's your summer running going?