Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Timed Mile

One of my biggest goals of this season is to become a more efficient, faster runner. Out of the three legs of the triathlon, running is my hardest. It always seems to take the most out of me and, I am slow.

Through my training with Coach Michael, I met running coach Brenda. I was never taught how to run, I just went out and did it. Consequently, I quickly learned in my first sessions, that for me, running properly did not come naturally. My stride and form was far from ideal and certainly did not resemble that of the Kenyans who are often leading running races. My body weight was not properly distributed, my alignment all off and most of all I had no idea that like cycling, running also had a cadence.

For nearly two months now, I have been practicing and working on my form, completing often silly looking drills and gradually starting to become more comfortable. Believe it or not, my past few runs have actually been enjoyable.

So this morning I was excited for the extra fun Coach Mark and Grandison added to our Saturday morning cycling, a timed mile. I had done 1/2 mile repeats last season (my fastest ever only 4 min. 27 seconds and most averaging around 4 min. 35-40 seconds) but I have never done a "timed mile." I certainly have never seen any number lower than a nine and a half plus minute pace even in a short 5K race. It was time to put my new form to the test.

So at 7 am this morning, I jogged my way up to Monument Avenue, anxious to see if my hard work and new form would pay off. I clicked my stop watch to start and took off with images of the road runner in my head. "Lift and lean," I could hear Coach Brenda repeating in my head. As the mile continued it was harder and harder to keep form. I know my heart rate was definitely sky rocketing and, the slight uphill grade on the last 1/4 mile didn't help. At last, I reached the street sign marking the end of the mile and pressed the stop on my watch. I looked down and smiled - 8 min. 44 seconds. Its working!


Melissa said...

congratulations! i am loving our cycling and starbucks!

Diane said...

You go, speedy gonzoles! That's great!!!