After skipping two days of workouts for travel, I got out and went for a 1-hr run. I have a 112-mile bike ride scheduled for tomorrow, so intentionally planned to keep the run easy aka zone 1 & 2 aerobic work.
I set off with an easy warm-up at about 10 min/mile while listening to the podrunner podcast at 170 beats per min. Usually, I listen to a track at 164 or 166 bpm, but I wanted to see how well I’d maintain the cadence. During the warmup, I noticed that I keep running in the low 9 min/mil and even in the 8’s which made me nervous. I kept slowing myself down.
I kept hearing Johnny’s voice and thinking about my run assessment… both showed that my Zone 1 and zone 2 paces are faster than I’ve been training. I may be much stronger and more capable than I want to accept. Fear of running faster has been holding me back.
Time to face my fear and test myself.
For 50 minutes, I was going to run close to 9 min/ mile and observe how my body responded to the load. What did my legs feel like? How high did my heart rate increase, Would my breathing get out of control? Would I struggle to keep the pace? Could this be a maintainable marathon pace?
Much to my surprise, I felt fine the.whole.damn.time! I wasn’t able to maintain a tight, consistent pace, but it was much faster than my normal 1hr run. As I approached 50 minutes, I realized that I’d probably get a personal record without really pushing hard. That left me feeling excited and disappointed at the same time.
Disappointed because it meant that I’d been coasting as a result of being afraid to push harder…simple believing that I couldn’t do it was sufficient to prevent me from trying.
All in all, 9 min 33 sec / mile is a great pace. I don’t know if I could sustain it for a full marathon, but I think that a half-marathon is doable for sure.