Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tempo Run on Standish Rails to Trails
At work today I was "loaned out" to the Portland division, so I had the opportunity to run on the Standish Rails to Trails. I used to run there quite often on the way home when I worked out of Portland. I wanted to do a tempo run today and this was the perfect course for it. It has convenient little markers every quarter mile (give or take), it's a rail bed so it is pretty darned flat, and it is only lightly used so there aren't many people to witness my strained expression and my flying sweat. I parked in Standish and ran to Windham for a bout 4.5 miles, and added another mile on a paved exercise path that continues from Windham toward Portland. This paved portion is new since I last ran there.
I did a mile and a half warm up and then picked the pace up to around 7 minute miles for 4 miles. This brought me to the turn around point. I felt pretty good on the tempo part of my run, but it was still hard work. I think of tempo pace as just over the threshold of uncomfortable. It isn't supposed to feel like a walk in the park.
The trail was fairly firm for the most part. The sun was shining and it was warm enough for shorts and a tank top. The trail passed a few grassy fields and they were just starting to turn green. There were only a few small patches of snow left. I love the Spring.
I really relaxed on the way back, but still made good time. I have been doing almost all my runs on hilly courses lately, so the flat run today felt like a treat. My run today was a total of 11 miles with a total time of 1:28:14, including 4 miles at 7 minute pace.
I am definitely more fit than I have been in a few years and it feels good! I am still not as fit or fast as I was about 5 years ago before my cascade of injuries started, but I am very glad to be where I am with my running. Two times in the past two weeks I have had new patients ask me out of the blue, "are you a runner?" Both times I was in my professional attire, so it wasn't the running shoes or sweat pants giving me away. I look like a runner, that makes me happy!