That's what I was dealing with Tuesday night when I went out for an aerobic stamina workout on a little road loop a half mile from my apartment. A light drizzle that seemed insignificant when I started but added up after a while. The neighborhood in question only has two roads into it and it doesn't do much good as a shortcut for drivers on the main roads, so traffic is extremely light. It's also almost exactly one mile around, just a little bit longer. Because of the light traffic, I could run in the middle of the road, so the measurement was essentially reliable. I jogged over and ran one loop as a warm up then set off on 2x4 miles, shooting for around 5:40 pace.
My first mile was 5:30, a little faster than I wanted to go, but without the exact 800 mark, I wasn't checking my pace midway through, and I think that might have defeated the purpose of running this workout on the roads. I consciously slowed down and hit 5:38 for my next three for 22:25. I jogged the loop backwards for a recovery, then started my second set. Two things happened during the recovery, the cold drizzle, about 36 degrees, chilled my legs enough that they became numb, and I forgot the breathing pattern that worked so well for me the last time.
I came through the first mile in 5:41, and while I was a little disappointed to have slowed three seconds from the last, I kept in mind that I could just barely feel my legs, so to be able to run close on muscle memory was pretty good. I slowed a bit the next three laps and averaged 5:43 for 22:52. By the end, the t-shirt I was wearing over a long-sleeved shirt was soaked and pretty heavy.
Overall, I was pretty happy with the workout. Considering I ran 5:40 pace for 2x3 miles on the track two weeks ago, running 2x4 miles on the roads averaging that pace is pretty good. That I only looked at my watch at the mile marks made me pretty confident that 5:40 just became a natural pace. Now, to speed it up...
Weekend Results 2/17
3 days ago