I base my runs on different metrics. There’s pace, terrain, and duration. These are all affected by the ability to breathe, which is, in turn, affected by focus and willpower.
I break my pace down to conventional racing distances, such as 5k pace, or half-marathon pace or 400 meter pace. I then have to convert these paces into miles. So, I run a 3.1 mile pace, a 13.1 mile pace, or quarter-mile pace when I train.
Trail running is a little different, for me. I just like running in weird and wild places, so I usually shoot for distance, and distance translates into use of specialized gear to stay fueled and watered and healthy. Trail running is my favorite long run format. I would choose a 50k trail race over a street half-mary any day just for the chance to get into the woods or barrens.
I injured and re-injured something in my hip and groin in June 2014 that prevented me from raising my right thigh up to a 90 degree angle from the ground without a lot of pain. Something was popping in my lower back. I also lost my kick. Sprinting, well, that disappeared in August, I think I tore stuff due to inflammation I experienced while suffering from chronic bronchitis. I was a mess. I’ve been testing the waters for months. Having to obey the injury is worth it in the long run. I missed training and racing for the second half of 2014.
Last night I ran 4 miles at a 8:14 pace. My Garmin is broken, can’t get GPS most of the time so I have to use a stopwatch function and plot runs on Mapmyrun. I did that for years, so no big deal.
I’ve been trying to just build a good aerobic base to get fit enough to get some good speed runs. Speed and distance training are complementary. I’ll get my first half-marathon distance this week. By month’s end I’ll get my marathon distance. I’m old. If I’m getting chicked by the third place woman in a race, I’m on target. But the women are getting faster every year. There’s no way I’m getting any older. I’m signing up for a race next weekend. I don’t know which one yet. I’ll have to just find something within fifty miles and commit. I’ll get stomped, won’t medal, and I’ll be a little disappointed because I know I can if I keep trying . And that will be all the motivation I’ll need.
I’m down to 177 from 195 pounds since November. I have fifteen more pounds to lose before June 1st, and 5ks melt me like butter.