Long run today. That was the plan. Weather didn’t exactly cooperate, so I headed for the gym.

Woke up late, close to noon, so instead of running on a really empty stomach (might be OK for a short easy run but 7+ miles?), decided to have a light “breakfast” around noon, then hit the gym about 2-3 hours afterward.

Wore my Adidas, and a long-sleeved tech shirt, mainly to prevent my copious amounts of sweat from flying all over. Especially on a long run, I sweat in gallons, it seems. Blech, but there it is. I come from hairy sweaty people.

The nano wasn’t charged! Frustrating. I couldn’t run that far on the treadmills without music, though, so I used the larger older iPod. It doesn’t take to shocks very well, so I set it on the shelf on the treadmill. Worried about pulling it off the shelf, but those worries were baseless. For music, I chose the Gorillaz second album, “Demon Days”. Most excellent running music (and I’ll have to add that to the nano; it’s not on there and should be).

The plan was 2 miles at a brisk warmup pace (aiming to average a 10:00 pace), then push myself hard for the next 3 miles, aiming for a 9:30 or better, then cooldown at whatever pace felt good for another 2+ miles. I tried to talk myself into committing to 7.5 miles total, but it just wasn’t happening.

First 2 miles seemed challenging but do-able. My speed bounced around, but I finished in just a hair under my planned 10:00 pace – 20:00 and 2.01 miles. Took a quick break for water, then got to moving.

And… I hit 5.0 total miles in 49:00! Which means for the middle 3 miles, I kept a 9:40 pace! Not as fast as I had hoped, but still satisfying. I’m going to work on this…

I finished the total 7 miles in 1:12:00 or so (the treadmill stops showing seconds after an hour, how annoying), so I slowed down considerably on the cooldown. But, y’know, that’s what cooldowns are for. I’m still happy with the workout.

It’s much easier for me to push on the treadmill, for a lot of reasons. And I know that this doesn’t always translate into speed on the streets and trails. But long runs are more about building up my aerobic capacity, that elusive VO2 max that elite athletes are chasing. I know I’m not ever going to be an elite athlete, but I know that I’ve come very far in the past couple of years, and even though I’m over 40 (I’ll be 41 in December), I think I can look forward to a couple more years of improvement before time starts to take its toll. So I’ve still got some personal records to set…