Finding and Keeping the Perfect Pace

Good morning – how are you on this fine Thursday? I have been a crazy person over the past two days. I’m going to skip Tuesday’s food recap altogether because it was pretty boring. I did squeeze in a decent 5-mile run after work on Tuesday night though, despite the looming rain. It was only drizzling, so I figured why not give it a shot. Running under rain sprinkles was actually surprisingly refreshing. Here were my stats from Tuesday:

Mile 1 – 8:16
Mile 2 – 7:53
Mile 3 – 8:14
Mile 4 – 7:55
Mile 5 – 8:11

Total mileage – 5 miles in 40:33

I was pretty happy with that run and my speed. My average speed overall was 8:06. If only I could keep that up for my marathon in May!

So that brings me to yesterday (Wednesday). For breakfast, I made some delicious oats in a jar with a side of light cranberry juice.

For lunch yesterday I ate at noon! That is unheard of for me – the earliest lunch ever. The reason being that I was teaching a training around 1:00 p.m. and had to travel and then set-up. So at noon I heated up some leftover stew and ate a Chobani yogurt with granola.

The training went pretty well. I have another one scheduled for Friday and that class is much bigger, so I’m more nervous about that one.

After the class I was able to come back to the office for a bit and snacked on a banana to fuel my post-work run. I’ve had to change my training schedule around a little this week, so I did my 8-mile run last night instead of a 5 miler. I didn’t feel like going to Central Park for some reason, so I ran it all on the East River promenade. Here are my stats:

Mile 1 – 9:49 (I located satellites from inside my apartment, so Garmin was a bit confused at first. It didn’t clock my first mile correctly.)
Mile 2 – 7:27 (yay for me – my first sub 7:30 minute mile since high school!)
Mile 3 – 8:32
Mile 4 – 7:40
Mile 5 – 8:58
Mile 6 – 8:19
Mile 7 – 8:37
Mile 8 – 8:18

Total mileage – 8 miles in 1:07:45. Average pace 8:27

I did two mile reps in this run, purposely trying to run at a faster speed (mile 2 and mile 4). Then from mile 6 on, I wanted to try to keep my pace around 8:20 (what I would likely need to run during the marathon in May to qualify for Boston). Obviously, that was tougher than I thought. I think I’ll use one of my upcoming “medium” runs in the near future to test my pace maintenance again and I will not run two mile reps before. I’d really like to be able to control my speed and be able to naturally feel how fast I should be going.

What about you? Are you able to tell about how fast you are running without the help of Garmin or other gadgets? Have you ever tried to maintain a certain speed? Did it work?

I’ve been thinking about strategies for the marathon a lot recently and how I’ll need to focus on staying around a certain pace, so as not to burn myself out. It sounds simple, but this run proves that it’s not going to be so easy. I’m also contemplating buying or creating a pace chart – I’ve been toying with the one on  Of course, my Garmin is wonderful, but the pace chart would just be an added back-up to help me see where I should be without having to do any math while run (I’m not too great at math to begin with).

Have you ever used a pace chart?

After my run I didn’t feel like really making anything – this has been a theme for me lately. So my dinner ended up being a black bean burger with a side of veggies with hummus and two pickles.

Instead of dipping the celery in hummus, I spread some peanut butter on it. Yum! And I needed the protein after that run. I also snacked on half of an unpictured Apple Pie Larabar right after my run and then finished the other half for dessert after dinner.

After dinner I tried to watch American Idol, but I ended up choosing to read more of my new book The Help instead. I am really liking it and I’m flying through it. I may be done with it before I get a chance to write a review of Angela’s Ashes!

Ok – that’s all folks. Have a great Thursday – moving closer to the weekend!


10 responses to “Finding and Keeping the Perfect Pace

  1. That stew looks so hearty and delicious! I love the looks of those carrots.

    Great job on the run pace, I aspire to one day reach your speeds.

  2. What awesome runs!! You are SPEEDY!

  3. I loooove The Help! I can’t get over how fast you are. It is so impressive!

    I’m going to try and finish my half marathon recap tonight!

    • Loved your half marathon recap! I have some speedy moments and then not-so-speedy moments like last night’s run (Thursday night). Congrats again on a great half!

  4. All of the pacing and running talk is greek to me….but I do know that an average of about 8:00 or so a mile is VERY impressive! Way to go!

  5. Ach my Garmin sometimes acts up too in the city. I really need to STOP fearing speedwork. You are my inspiration!!! Also, I just finished The Help TODAY!!!

    • Thank you – I only recently started doing speedwork and I was inspired to do so by some other speedy bloggers – much faster than me! I am flying through The Help – it’s soo good.

  6. I don’t have a Garmin and I don’t run on marked courses, so I do a lot of guestimating. I need to get better at pacing myself because sometimes I get in a pace rut -then if I want to speed things up (or even slow down) I have trouble finding the correct speed.

  7. I just got a Garmin & I love it (I swear it makes me run faster!) but I feel like it makes me MORE gadget dependent, cause I’m always LOOKING at it. I used to do after the fact, to see what my time/distance was, but I’m loving the Garmin!

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