Consistently inconsistent

Today’s run (street): 2.45 miles at 9:07

I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand why some runs are faster than others. I know a person who has run the same 4 mile loop for years and can usually predict his finish time within 15 seconds. I may have opened a can of worms by suggesting that he throw in some tempos to bring down his overall pace. He did that and now he’s got a different perspective. Up until that point, the run itself was the accomplishment. Now, after all this time, he’s concerned about pace and performance. Did I do him a favor in helping him get more out of his runs? Or did I contribute to a mindset that replaces the joy of running with the obsession of metrics? I also told him he should think about getting lighter weight shoes for a performance bump. What have I done!?

Of course it’s not the shoes that make you faster. Or is it? Since switching over to the Saucony shoes last week I’ve had noticeable improvement in my pace, often beating my usual times by 20-30 seconds per mile. With nothing else to explain it I had to guess it was the shoes. After three runs in the 8:40-8:50 range I assumed I had moved to another stage in my running. I’d no longer be a 9-something pacer. The new normal is 8:45 and further improvement starts there. This morning I went out feeling good, equipped with the fast Kinvaras on a clear cool morning’s run. My pace felt steady and strong. At the point where I thought I’d covered a mile my Garmin said .78 miles. I felt like I was running well but I wasn’t covering the ground at the rate I’d assumed. I questioned whether the Garmin was properly calibrated because I had switched it from my Brooks this morning. Ultimately, I finished with an overall pace of 9:07 that is typical of runs at that time. I continue to wonder why the range of performance is as wide as it is. I don’t have any problems with today’s performance. It’s just that with all my tracking and even with the new lighter shoes, inconsistency is the only constant.

Will geek appeal get me to the race?

Today’s workout (elliptical): 25 minutes

I forgot to set my alarm this morning and slept about 15 minutes later than I usually do. Feeling tired and knowing this late start would cut into my workout, I briefly considered skipping exercise altogether. Thankfully guilt prevailed and I ended up spending about 25 minutes on the elliptical. It was sufficient to raise my heart rate and make me sweat. Other than that I can’t remember a thing about it.

Tracking tag that’s built into the bib

My racing plans have been on my mind lately. I’m still on the fence about whether I will do the RXR LI Marathon 10K the first weekend in May. I enjoy racing and I do believe it helps push me to higher levels of conditioning than I would reach were I solely a recreational runner. The thing is, I just raced a couple of weeks ago and I really just want to take a few weekends to get out and have fun on the roads and trails. It’s different when preparing for a race where every run is about preparing to meet performance goals. On the other hand I’ve only competed in one 10K, a trail race, and I’m curious to see how I’d do in a road race at that distance. I did the LI Marathon 5K last year so the 10K would represent progress, or at least a new experience. I should be able to run 6.2 miles competitively right now without a lot of race-specific training. I have until Sunday to decide. That’s when registration closes. They have a new system where your race number is also your tracking tag. The geek in me is really intrigued by that. It may be enough to get me to the starting line.