Back to running


After a week of post-Ironman sunburn recovery, I reintroduced myself to running. My performance was pretty bad: I did 3 miles at a 10-minute pace. (This compares to, for example, a recent run of 4 miles at an 8:31 pace.)

I’m not too worried about this blip in underperformance. It’s sufficiently bad that it was probably just an off day for me. Maybe I was dehydrated, hungry, etc., various reasons for randomly bad performance.

I also know I pushed myself just the amount I wanted to, actually even more. I originally set out with the goal of doing an easy three-mile run, but as I wasn’t running too fast, an otherwise-easy pace actually ended up hitting my heart rate max of 180 for most of the run. (My watch tells me not to work out for another 3.5 days!)

Note that my pace is usually faster than 10″-mile in the above diagram, and pretty steady, but the average pace over the run is lower because of the times I stopped at traffic lights.

Speaking of traffic lights, I find that they provide one of the most interesting physiological sensations in running, and not in a good way. Somehow it is possible to hit my heart rate max and temporarily “tune out” my suffering. But if I stop short, I suddenly start feeling just how hot it is outside. A terrible feeling passes through my circulatory system like I’ve just floored the gas in a car with its emergency brake on. And my legs start freezing into a standing position, motionless. If  possible, it seems preferable to slow down gradually rather than stop short.

I also felt another interesting but unpleasant feeling I haven’t felt for a long time, whose source I’m still trying to understand. When getting out of breath, my face starts feeling awfully painful, like my teeth are being extracted. Is this because of a lack of blood to the face? Or maybe too much blood (blood pressure?). Actually, this feeling has become quite rare for me, and I associate it with the days before I started working out.

The current plan is to train toward two things:

  1. Running a 6-minute mile. (My record now is 6:41, so I still have a ways to go.)
  2. Doing a 5k. I’m not going to train toward this explicitly, but since most of my workouts will be in the 2 to 3 mile range, I expect to have decent prep toward that. My goal is 24 minutes.

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