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!


  1. That's funny I get the same question after I tell people I run ....they look at me puzzled and say "you're a runner?" I get the feeling that I DON"T look like a runner and they have a hard time believing I actually run.....I wonder why?
    I am a bit about 10 lbs and probably 15 lbs or so from a strong racing weight but not to the point that people wouldn't believe I could actually run.

    You must look great!

  2. You look really something will you.

  3. Pathfinder, Isn't it nice how runners come in all shapes and sizes. As for you, Mr Anonymous BJ, if you stop with the ice cream and chocolate in the evenings, you could be just as scrawny as me!

  4. I get that too. They say, "You're running? It looks like you're walking!"