Sunday, December 14, 2008

Taking Advantage of the Weather

As noted in my previous posts, the weather lately has been somewhat hostile and has significantly complicated my running sessions. Fortunately, aside from a little rain the weather was much better than it has been in a while - little to no wind and a comfortable 6C. There was still a bit of snow left on the ground from previous days, but most of the pathways were clear so I didn't expect that to be a huge issue.

As I was busy in the morning, I moved the run back to the afternoon and headed out a little after 3:00pm. In addition, I figured that I'd try out a slightly different route than normal, as when I do start increasing mileage again the more roads I'm familiar with the easier it will be to plan things out. The route that I selected incorporated the same return path (and primary hills) that I have been running over the last few weeks, but I took a major road out rather than the residential streets.

The first kilometer was a bit slow as the roads still had a good deal of slush, but once I got out of the subdivision things cleared up nicely. After a quick 22 second stop at the traffic lights, I picked it up again and headed out at a faster pace. I was able to maintain that pace (~4:41/km) for the next seven and a half kilometers without any issues. At this juncture, I was at the southernmost point in the route and began making my way back north. After stopping for another set of traffic lights (12 sec), I had about 2km left to flat ground to run before I hit the hills.

I managed to maintain a 4:45/km pace over this segment and slowed down once I hit the hills to keep my heart rate on track. With the reduced pace (~5:15/km), I managed to keep my heart rate below 170bpm and was still feeling pretty good by the time I cleared them. I was now at the 12km mark and making good time, so I elected to try and see how far I had progressed in the last couple of months. After a brief 24 second traffic stop, I picked it up for the home stretch.

When I got to the 18K mark, I had managed a 4:48/km pace and saw that I was within striking distance of my STWM time so I pushed it a little harder. At this point it started drizzling a little, but with the higher temperatures it was actually somewhat helpful. When I got to the 20K mark, I was at 1:35:38 and therefore needed to do the final 1.1km in 6:08.6 to meet my mark. At this point, I opened up to do the final stretch at a 4:23/km pace and hitting the mark at 1:40:25. Even working the traffic stops into the equation, my total time was still 1:41:23 or about 23 seconds faster than my race.

This certainly shows the benefits of the additional mileage that I've been doing over the last few weeks, as I didn't put anything near race pace into this run. It was certainly harder than my average long run, so it isn't the type of thing I'll do on a regular basis - however by this point I'm pretty well fully recovered so it didn't take too much out of me.

Either way, results are as follows:
Total Distance: 21.1km
Total Time: 1:40:25 (1:41:23 w/traffic stops)
Average Pace: 4:45/km
Average Heart Rate: 162bpm (71% HRR)

Full Telemetry:

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