Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tackling the Hills of Umstead State Park

This morning's run was my first intentional mid-week hill workout, and it was an interesting one! I returned to Umstead State Park today, and instead of running the paved area this morning, I decided to shoot for the trails this morning. I missed the turnoff for the trails, but got a really good workout on the dirt and gravel roads instead.

I kept Tuesday's setting on the Gymboss pace timer to signal 2 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. There were times when I was tempting to keep running after 2 minutes, but since this was my first mid-week hill workout, I decided to see how this worked out.

The temperature outside seemed a little bit cooler than earlier in the week. It was still plenty hot, but just a tad more pleasant. Of course, the area where I was running had plenty of trees, so I'm sure that helped. Umstead is such a pretty place to run! I saw a deer in the woods today--nice! There were a few other runners and bikers out this morning, and I enjoyed the company.

I tried out my new iPod armband this morning, and it worked pretty well! It was nice to have my hands free from carrying things. The only downside of my morning run was that once, while I was fiddling with the iPod on my upper arm, I tripped and fell! Ouch! My left knee got pretty scraped up, but otherwise I was okay. A park ranger happened to come into view just after I fell, so he stopped to check on me just as I got up. I was sooo close that I wanted to make it to my car, so I assured him I was fine. By the time I got back to my car (continuing my run/walk ratio), the blood had streamed all the way down to my sock! Charming. Thankfully, I had a clean towel in my trunk, so I was able to clean up a bit. I cleaned up the wound after I got home, and my knee doesn't seem to be too much worse for the wear, other than the scrapes. I'll probably ice it after work, though, just to be on the safe side.

My average pace per mile was 17:14, pretty slow, but faster than some of my other mid-week runs this summer. I was a little tentative, not knowing how my body was going to react, and then, of course, there was the fall. (I've learned how to make my Garmin Forerunner stop automatically when I do, so that feature came in handy!) As I write this, I'm feeling a little stiff (mostly in the knee that I fell on), but I feel like I could've given a little more out there. Now I know.

I ended up run/walking 3.48 miles in 60 minutes.

Mile Splits:
1) 17:25
2) 16:38 (Better pace there! Wonder why.)
3) 17:44 (the mile in which I fell)
Last 0.48 of a mile in 8:13 (On target to be my second best mile)

I think my overall training plan will include three runs--one speed workout, one hill workout, and then the weekend long run, and crosstraining on most other days, with a rest/easy day on the day before my long run (which usually falls on Saturday). I may do an easy run on a crosstraining day sometimes. I'll see how it all goes, and tweak things along the way. I'm so eager to improve my speed and endurance! (To do that, I need to stay healthy too!)

1 comment:

Christina said...

Sounds like a perfect, well balanced schedule. Your mile splits for hills are very good. When running hills the pace will always be slower and over time you'll be able to compare your mile splits and see improvements.


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