Yep, a running personal record. A blistering 10:31/mile pace!
A good internet friend asked me a week or so ago if I was still running and/or cycling. Probably because I hadn’t been talking about it here. Odd, considering the first word after my name in the blog title is “racing”.
Well, you long-time readers might recall my rudderless post early this year after a few years of running marathons and ultra-marathons. Even without a goal to work toward, I decided that I needed to be at least fit enough to fake my way through a half-marathon at any time. And I’ve held true to that, running a great 14-mile mountain route in late October with 6,000′ of elevation gain, 2/3 of which was in the first four miles.
That came through a great six months of short, high intensity workouts, alternating days between Crossfit-style workouts and intervals. I never ran more than just over seven miles during that time (at that was a fluke). But the majority of my runs were quick, working on leg turnover and speed.
Anyway, so what’s that got to do with a PR? Well, it’s the fastest I’ve run this course. So that makes it a PR.
I covered .91 mile in 9:35.
Not much to get excited about, eh? I guess it depends on perspective.
Here’s the profile.
That’s 350′ of gain in .91 miles. Thanks to way too many steps to count. Thankfully, I guess, someone painted a number on every single one. But honestly, after 200 (just over a third of the way up), it just doesn’t freakin’ matter.
And if you pay attention to the grade percentage line (the thin brown line), you’ll see that there’s a good stretch of 55%.
That’s after the false flat about midway up, where the stairs turn slightly to the right. Approaching that landing, you think you’re reaching the top. Only to have your hopes crushed as you see the wall continue ahead of you.
But a run with a great group of fast guys will keep you from even noticing.
Because all you can see in front of you are two legs moving as fast as they dare and that ghastly sound coming from your mouth, a mixture of half gasp, half sob.
Perhaps a tonal shift as you lose two or three hopes and/or dreams.
So it wasn’t an organized race. It wasn’t even on a calendar, other than an announcement for a farewell run for a great guy. A farewell run that turned into a race for a few of us. A race where the real speed demon didn’t show up, so I actually won this one by a few strides.
And if by winning I mean that I pushed my heart rate into numbers that have been impossible for some 15 years, then yeah, I won.
But that was yesterday.
Today was my first bicycle commute in over seven months. A nice brisk 30F for the morning and a balmy 37F for the afternoon. It sure made me look forward to riding through the winter, regardless of the weather. Because, as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.
Besides, I’ve now got just four months to train the butt to be ready for a week of several back to back 200km rides.
I hope the legs are up for it.