Saturday, July 12, 2008

0 Run 3, Week 4 (BOHR): A Run In The Park.....


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Stats:
Run:
Start Time:
9:44 am (5 minute warm-up walk began at 9:39 am)
Temperature: 79 degrees (Fahrenheit) (N/A)
Humidity: 60%
Distance: 3.42 mi
Time: 35:07 min
Average Pace: 10:14 min/mi
Calories Burned: 356
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Post-Run walk:
Start Time: 10:21 am
Distance: 3:01 km
Time: 32:21 min
Average Pace: 10:44 min/mi
Calories Burned: 194
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Today Erik & I ran at our favorite lakeside park. (Erik's still dealing with recurring knee & hamstring issues, so we didn't start our runs at the same time: I started off first & then after finishing my run, doubled back to meet him & we walked back together. During the walking portion, I decided to do a 3K walk & track it via my Nike+.)

The path has several uphill & downhill portions & it definitely felt different than my usual running place. Frankly, it was much more challenging. The first part of the trail is mostly downhill & is very deceptive, because it makes you think you can sustain a much faster pace. And likewise, I know I probably started out way too fast the first mile, because I didn't hear the 10-minute announcement on my Nike+ until I was well past the first mile marker. I estimate that my first mile was probably somewhere between an 8 & 9 min/mi pace. Of course, by Mile #2 (or somewhere close to it!) I totally bit the dust, but then managed to rally somewhat on the final stretch. I know I slowed considerably after the first half of Mile #2. It was really humid, & I felt really dehydrated; thinking back on it, I hadn't had much water to drink over the past two days -- probably only 3-4 small bottles in the last 2 days, which also probably affected my pace. (I'm not saying this as an excuse, but it was definitely a factor that affected my performance.)

After finishing my run, I was sure that I'd probably done somewhere between 10:30 & 11 min/mile average pace, especially bearing in mind all of the above factors. However, to my great surprise, my Nike+ pedometer (if it's anywhere near accurate!) reported that I'd done a 10:14 min/mi average pace! Much better than I'd expected! And in fact, that means that I actually did my best road pace thus far this year. Yay!

Part of me is still questioning the accuracy of my Nike+; does anyone know what the margin of error is for these things? If it's only off by a few seconds, then that's not too bad, but if the calculations are off by as much as a half a minute, then I might have to reconsider & whip out my rather ungainly GPS wrist-watch. Am I dreaming & are those numbers just too good to be true?! I'm not so sure, since my Nike+ reported my average pace for the post-run walk as 10:44. How can that be correct?! I mean, I know I'm a fast-walker, but 10:44? That seems a bit unreal.

My last two runs were treadmill runs, & were considerably faster. However, I know I can't generally go by the pace I run on the treadmill. That's just not a realistic gauge to use when measuring road-running speeds. It's just so different. First of all, the feel of the road, elevation, & general terrain all change how you'll run. Then there are other factors like the heat index, humidity, etc.

One's pace on the treadmill is deceptive, because a person's body is really doing less work. Most runners would agree that it takes much more effort to drag one's body up a steep hill than to simulate it on a treadmill! Even if you pump up the incline on the treadmill, it's still not the same thing as the experience of actually running those hills!

OK, well that's all for today. Hope you all have a great afternoon!

-C

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Update added later today (at 11:11 pm): I just uploaded my data from this morning's run to Runner+, & saw the pace breakdown for each mile I ran: The first mile was done at 9:06 min/mi, the second at 10:16 min/mi, the third at 10:56 min/mi, & the final 0.42 at 11:13 min/mi. My initial estimates of the first mile weren't entirely correct -- I'd predicted somewhere between 8 & 9 min/mi, but of course the pace was closer to the latter figure. ;-) It just goes to show that you can't simply judge your pace just by the feel of your run. ;-)

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