A pace I can live with

Today’s run (street): 4.12 miles

Yesterday afternoon I updated the firmware on my Garmin FR60 which reset the watch to its factory settings. I was happy that I had the foresight to upload this week’s runs to Garmin Connect before I did the upgrade or they would have been lost to the ages. I restored all the settings and preferences but I neglected to re-pair the watch to the foot pod. When I went out for my run this morning I hit the start button and didn’t think much about it. A few minutes into the run I looked at the display and saw it was tracking time but not distance and I realized that I hadn’t paired the unit. I figured I’d just Gmap the route I ran and calculate pace later, based on the recorded time.

I recently had a similar experience when I saw that I hadn’t started the Garmin after I’d begun to run. I ran most of  my route knowing that my speed and distance weren’t being captured and that was both annoying and liberating. Today I felt better when I discovered the problem because at least I had captured the run time. I decided to forget about pace, speed, etc., and just ran free for 30-40 minutes. I took it easy because that was what I’d originally intended for this run — a short version of LSD. About 30 minutes into the run I was feeling like I could run all day and it occurred to me that I should think about a pace that I could maintain comfortably for a half marathon.

Today’s pace was 9:53. Not fast but manageable over long distances. It would be good (psychologically) to average below 10 min/mile for the half marathon. The challenge of running a half under two hours is much greater — I’d need to average 9:09 or better to do that. I’ll work on my distance as much as I can from here on. With the temperatures moving toward the 50’s I might get the first chance in a while to do a long run at Bethpage next weekend.

Your mileage may vary

Today’s workout: Rest day

Despite my meticulous efforts to capture my running metrics, I’m realizing that my perception of my overall performance differs from the hard facts. When people ask me about it I usually say I run 9:00 miles. I can run faster than that, but I don’t. In truth, I only hit 8:00-something paces a few times a month and most of the time I average between 9:10-9:30/mile. Yesterday, after uploading my latest run into Garmin Connect, I noticed that my average monthly distance is 65 miles. This confused me because, when asked, I usually say I run 20 miles a week. I think part of that delusion comes from when I used MapMyRun to record my metrics and included the distance measurement from my elliptical sessions. In fact, I ran less monthly distance a year ago than today because I was limiting my morning weekday runs to no more than 20 minutes.

In order to really reach the 20 mile per week level I will need to average closer to 3 miles per day during the week (less one rest day and one cross training day) and 10 miles over the weekend. The gating factor is time, not conditioning. However, if I really could average 9:00 per mile I would definitely compile more distance in the same amount of time.