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Tuesday nights in August mean Trek the Trace. This is a series of predicted 2 mile runs. You have to ‘guess’ what you will run. No watches, MP3 players, heart rate monitors. This is tough for me. I am horrible at pacing. I have to use the devices to keep me in check.
In past years I have simply ‘guesses’ the fastest time that I cam possible run and then race the dang thing. That can get me pretty close. I had some times in the low twelve’s last year. However, last year was ironman taper time – lower volume while keeping the intensity. This year is a lot different. I have been running a lot of 8 minute miles and this has been a solid effort in the heat – nothing TOO hard but still challenging. So I ran 6 in the heat on Monday and then ran 3 in the gym during lunch. I predicted my time to be just a little bit faster. I was NOT going to run all out or anything. Also, in the past I would pace off of someone that is faster than me and then just fade. The fast guys were not present. I would be out alone.
My friend Jason and I put down the same time – 15 minutes for two miles. I told him that this would be conversational pace for the entire run. We would just cruise the run. And I did not disappoint for the first half mile. I think I talked his ear off. I was running well and feeling good. I was not near any danger zones and I just kept the pace up. I might have actually pushed it a little bit. There is something about running with a group – even if it is not a race. I was all alone at the front of this ‘trek’ and I knew that I was too fast. But what are you going to do? If I slowed down I would have no idea of the speed of my effort. I need this baseline for next week. So I just kept up the comfortably hard effort.
I finished first but nowhere near my projected time. I had predicted 15:00 minutes and crossed the tape in 13:19. That is how good I pace. Knowing where I stand I might be able to do better next week. Maybe push the pace a little harder and at least get close to my time.
The best part was they had pizza, pasta salad, cookies and all sorts of stuff. I saw one of my friends and he was choking down two pieces of pizza at once. I just thought, I did not run that far or that fast. I just had some honeydew and cantaloupe. I was proud of myself.