I’m constantly surprising myself with my running.

Yesterday I felt like I’d overdone it, pushed myself too hard and too far and paid a price. I’ve done 5.5 miles before, and faster, too, but never before with so many hills. And running on the street is harder than any other kind of running except for trail running, and I even did a bit of that, too, since there are groomed trails through the parks on my long route.

Plus I was trying something new in my stride, something that’s more of a push along the ground, to generate more speed and use more of the muscles in my legs and butt, rather than the normal, up-and-down jogging motion I normally use. For the record, I read that in this article. I’m not training to be a superfast elite runner but a little more speed or a little more efficiency would be nice. But even though, technically, using a larger group of muscles for the same effort is more efficient… the technique has its costs.

Suffice to say that after my run yesterday I was tired and sore. A bit more tired and sore than I have been for a while.

But, today, I knew I wanted to run, but didn’t want to push too hard and didn’t want to go too far. And it seems that everytime I set out to just go along and coast and yet try to just keep going… I exceed my expectations. There’s a lesson in that…

Today, I ran a planned 2.5 mile, down-to-the-river-and-back, somewhat hilly route. And managed to average a 9:28 pace!

Here’s my half-mile splits:

  1. 4:46.31 (04:46.31)
  2. 4:45.41 (09:31.72)
  3. 4:26.18 (13:57.90)
  4. 5:22.04 (19:19.94)
  5. 4:20.39 (23:40.33)

I told myself, as I started the last half-mile, that since I had held back for the previous 2 miles, that I had every reason to push for the last half-mile. You know, since I didn’t really care about overall time, if I pooped out and had to walk the last section, it wouldn’t matter in the long run. And, damn if I didn’t turn in a great time, both for that section and for the overall run.

Surprising that my soreness and tiredness from the day before has vanished today… so far, at any rate. Ask me again in a couple of hours. Right now I need food.