ONE STEP CLOSER TO LOUISVILLE.
Today's training run went MUCH better than last week's in the rain and cold. It was perfect weather for a run: low 60s, no wind, partly sunny. I wore shorts and a short sleeved shirt with my vest and was never too cold or too hot. And today I wisely chose another route. Not an easier route, but better. Instead of tormenting myself on the river route, dealing with the traffic and bad roads, I went around the lake near my house and was a lot happier. I don't know why I don't do this more often.
Part of the reason for that I suppose is if you want to go more than 5 miles, it requires doing two loops. I know that sometimes it is mentally hard to do that, but today that's what I decided to do.
The first loop, I went the "hard" way, meaning I was going to have to do the big hill at the end. The last time I did this hill was back in the fall one time with Don, before his Achilles problem, probably just a week or so before that in fact. We both walked up the hill that day. Today, I ran up. So progress was made there.
I've also been practicing more faithfully some of the things I learned in my Chi Running clinic from 2 years ago. Since then, I have always practiced the running form, so that now it is second nature. Its nothing hard or complicated, of course, but it did require some changes on my part, all for the better. Two other things though that I haven't been as good about doing on my runs is the arm swing and the breathing.
We learned that your arm swing movement and pace will also help determine your foot pace, meaning, your feet will keep up with your arms. That's all well and good, as long as you realize that the lungs obviously have to go along with this plan too!
So I've been remembering the arm swing method, and today I finally remembered the breathing method: 3 breaths out, 3 breaths in. Wow! What a difference it made in my overall pacing. Not faster, I don't mean that. But in terms of not being out of breath as quickly, or at all, I can see where those 3 breaths out and 3 breaths in help regulate the breathing, and for longer periods. I noticed this right away, so made a conscious effort to continue through the whole 10 miles. And it wasn't until the last mile that I was starting to see an increase in my breathing: 2 breaths in, 2 out. I know that had been my usual, and I can see now where slowing the breathing seemed to give me more endurance. And again, this isn't something that just happens, but once you are aware of how it is working and continue this through your run, after a while you don't think about it much either.
All in all, I felt much stronger than last week, and while I know the weather made a big difference, I also know that remembering a few tricks from Chi Running helped make it more successful as well. I feel a lot better too going into the half marathon next week, even though my training hasn't gotten me past 11 miles, but its not like I haven't run 13.1 miles before, so I figure I'll get through it somehow. I am glad it isn't a full marathon though!