Running the plan while not becoming a road-pancake!

So, the big question on everyone’s mind – is obviously – “So, did the Once and Future Runner manage to follow the training plan yesterday?”  To which the answer is – YES!  After dropping my kids off at the anti-drowning class (also known as swim lessons), I headed out of the door of the YMCA to do some pounding of the pavement.  If I head out the door and to the left, there is a portion of “17c” that splits and then comes back together. This struck me as not being to long of a loop, and that I could go run that loop and be back in no time.

Run this loop - and cars can pretend to be trying to hit you too!

Well, in the course of this days’ run I learned some  very valuable lessons, and although I know people learn through doing and not reading – I will share my new-found wisdom with you here!

Lesson 1)  A road you drive on regularly at 60 mph, seems really, really long when running it at 7.6 mph.
Lesson 2)  When running on “highway-like” conditions some idiots will think it is hysterical to swerve on to the shoulder you are running on.
Lesson 3) “highway-like” conditions aren’t the most enjoyable to run on. No good scenery, much hotter than most places and the breeze you do get – smells like exhaust.

Picture from Google Maps - Streetview.

I had some fairly good splits (for a slow, out of shape 36-year-old):
Mile 1: 8:04
Mile 2: 7:51
Mile 3: 8:18
Mile 4: 7:27

These are noticeably faster than the runs I have been doing (pre-Boilermaker) and I have 2 theories on this.

1) The last mile of the Boilermaker 15k I ran at an 8:12 pace – after doing 8 miles.  This has made me realize I have been “dogging it” in the speed department on my runs (with speeds of 9 minutes to 11 minutes a mile.)  This has made me realize I CAN run faster as I cover the distance I am running – as long as I can learn to “suck it up, buttercup.”

2) When you are worried about idiot drivers “pretending” to hit you by swerving on to the shoulder you are running on (and “accidentally” actually hitting you), you run faster to get out of the situation as quickly as possible.

I think the easiest way to test out these two theories to see which is true – is to not repeat the “highway-like road course” again.  If I continue to push it and run faster (though tonight is a recovery run, so it will be at a slow pace), then obviously it wasn’t the terror screaming through my mind – but an actual change of my mind-set on running.


I run, because I am a runner. Having realized that I have always "been a runner" - even when I went years with out running, I am learning how it has integrated itself in all aspects of my life. When I started running in highschool, my perspective on life changed. Funny that I didn't realize how much it had affected it until just recently.

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2 comments on “Running the plan while not becoming a road-pancake!
  1. congrats on sticking to the plan! im not a fan of running near large roads or anything for similar reasons. also, u may be running faster because u now KNOW u can. i know when i plod along i can go a lot faster if i just were to ‘suck it up, buttercup,” but i usually save those boosts of speed for when im in a race – all that adrenaline just gets me goin. either way, id steer clear of the highways if i were you 🙂

    • Robinson says:

      Thanks!! Following instructions has never been my strong point (or so my wife says!) I think you are right – I logically knew i was “taking it easy,” but didn’t “know” I could run faster. So now my “Easy” runs seem to be faster than my runs were last week! I still refuse to stress over my times this year – my eye is on reach that 26.2 milestone, and with only 107 days until the Marine Corps Marathon, I don’t dare waiver!

      I am definitely done with the “highway” type roads – that was NOT an enjoyable experience. When I go, I hope that it will be quietly in my bed – not due to some Idiot that thinks they are an automotive comedian! (plus its BORING!)

      Thank you for reading!

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The Once and Future Runner
Once and Future Runner

2013 Was an amazing year, for me, So I am really looking forward to 2014!

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