Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Long, slow hills

Yep, another run report. Oh how repetitious! I'm going to rave on for a little bit though, because this was a great run. This was one of those 'cruising along wondering when things are going to get hard' runs. This was one of those runs where, because I had intended to take things easy, I ended up running faster and further than I'd expected.

Backing up a bit, I decided to revise my goal of running 17km and instead go for time over a more challenging course. We've had a wicked Southerly here, so I decided I was going to stick inland where it would be sheltered. As it turned out, the Southerly had completely died by the time I left work tonight and it was cool and calm. In short, it was a beautiful evening for running.

After a week of no runs my ankle was feeling fine, but I decided to run a loop which would give me an out if I wasn't feeling good. I stopped on the corner of Bowen and the Terrace, holding my wrist madly in the air to try to encourage my Garmin to hook onto a satellite. Thankfully it managed that ok and we headed off up Bowen at a good pace. Left into Glenmore and I cruised steadily all the way up to Kelburn. My hill technique was the best it's been in ages. I was getting lots of knee lift and was pushing off my back foot strongly, firing those glutes I seem so obsessed about.

Through the Kelburn shops and I forgot to turn down Salamanca, so had to turn back at the cable car. I was having to dodge large numbers of vague pedestrians who were only noticing me at the last moment, swerving into my path. It's not like I'm one of those light-footed silent runners either.

Down Salamanca feeling really good, happy at how easy the first hill felt and how strong I was still feeling. I got to the corner of Willis and Aro in well under 40 minutes, so I was running faster than I thought I was. As I'd expected, I was warmed up enough that Mad Dog was kicking in and I fairly flew up Aro Valley. When I ran up this hill last year it nearly killed me, but not tonight!

Over the other side of the hill, down through the Karori tunnel, then in a nice piece of symmetry, back down Glenmore. When I got to the corner of Glenmore and Bowen I'd still only been out for just over an hour. Not time to head back just yet then. I ran all the way tothe bottom of Tinakori then turned right onto Thorndon Quay. Running along Thorndon Quay the Garmin was showing a 5.20 pace. Inconceivable, but I could feel that I really was moving, so I think it was accurate!

I got back to the gym in under 90 minutes, with my goal having been to run somewhere between 90 and 110. However it seemed like the run was coming to a natural end and it felt right to stop when I did. I fairly sprinted the last little climb up Bowen and still felt great when I got back to the gym.

That was not the longest run I've ever done, but it was probably one of the hilliest. It's a good indicator of how fit I actually am right now. I'll fit in another long run next week (perhaps Monday, but maybe Wednesday), since these long runs after work seem to work well for me. Next time I'll stick to the waterfront and go for distance and a bit of pace. Let's see how likely I am to do a PB in a few weeks.

The only issue I have right now is that I'm supposed to be working out with Duck in just 10 hours. Oops!


Sass said...

Dude, you're totally going to cane me in the half with your mad under 6 min kms pace!;p

Pip said...

Just quietly, I'm targeting a 5.40 pace.

Oops, did I just say that?