For quite a long time, I have used the 7 miler as a measure of my running aptitude. It was back in 2007 that I solidified a regular schedule of running about an hour every other day--it was much less regimented before that time. At that point in my running career, it took me just over an hour (63-ish minutes) to run 7 miles and thus, a rut began. Over time, I have slowly shaved off minutes and now a 7 mile easy run is around 55 minutes. If I am feeling particularly speedy, I do it around 53:XX and if I am chillin' on the TM, I run it in around an hour.
In 2009, I took the plunge into marathon
training and revamped my schedule during that time period to prepare my
body for the trials and tribulations of running 26.2. But, after I
could properly walk down the stairs again, I returned to my old ways.
Each spring marathon training cycle for the past 4 years has brought the
same shake-up to my routine. But like a creature of habit, I found
myself returning to those 7 mile runs. I'd toss in a long run about once
a month to keep myself in a good place, but I'd never really do any
shorter easy runs save for days where I'd be forced to by time
However, this post-marathon spring has
been different. I ran my 7 milers on vacation--moreso to ensure that I
was burning mojito calories and less about the actual running. But the
rest of the weeks have been blissfully different. And it's been a good
change-up for me. I run far when I have the time and energy and run
short when I find myself lacking on those things. The weather has been
perfectly cool thus far for spring in Hotlanta and except for the
torrential rain pour this weekend, I haven't been on the TM.
Friday, I took advantage of
my day off and went for a 10 mile run in the rain. It wasn't raining
hard and the temps were in the 50's--it was actually super refreshing. I
planned to just keep between 8:15-8:30 pace, but my body was primed for
something faster. The best part?? I was completely lost in my own
thoughts for 90% of the run and the final mile was the only point that I
felt like I was giving the run much effort. I LOVE
getting lost in my brain when I run. It had been too long since I had
such great mojo like that!!! Friday's splits: 7:58, 8:03, 7:58, 7:44,
7:53, 7:48, 7:45, 7:54, 7:45, 7:37.
Due to work and a
family dinner on Sunday, I had no time to run (re: I didn't want to get
up early), so I ran 5 miles on Saturday. It was raining super hard when
I left work and was supposed to continue all night. So I decided to
run on the TM--weird after so many outdoor runs!
I knew I couldn't run on my awesome Greenway because it was sooooooooo
flooded. But it was 50 degrees and overcast outside, so I went running
on the dumb sidewalks about a mile and a half from my house. It is a
very hilly run and all concrete.
But I made the most of it. I enjoyed the different scenery and
listened to a different Pandora station. I even tried to lollygag, but
then I got amped up on the hills and well, here's what happened: 8:09,
7:58, 7:50, 8:03, 7:54, 8:01, 7:48.
I hope to keep up the trend of random mileage throughout the week--I like it!