Saturday, March 12, 2011

Grasping at Pace

This morning I organized an 11 mile run. It started out as offering to run with a friend for her last long run before her first half marathon at Rock N Roll Dallas Half on March 27, especially offering because she'd done most of her runs and her long runs on a treadmill, and you need some practice on roads too! This turned into a couple friends' comments of "Oh I need 11 too!", which led me to say I'd make a Twtvite and FB event, and before I knew it, 20+ people at this run, post-run recovery beverages for everyone from the wonderful Honeymilk, and post-run ART work from a friendly chiropractor, Dr. G from Spring Valley Spine and Sportscare.

On this 11-mile run, I just tried to go comfortably, we didn't really walk for several miles, but I also didn't refer to my Garmin GPS for pace checks. About mile 7, I started to feel exhausted - I had failed to take Gu at mile 4-5 like I usually do, so that couldn't be helping. I took a Chocolate Honey Stinger, but just wasn't feeling the pick-me-up, probably because I waited too long and pace was too fast. By mile 8, I just wanted to walk the rest of the way back. :-(

Splits: 11:50, 12:03, 12:49 (small amount of walking after aid station I had set up), 12:21, 11:54, 11:49, 14:24, 13:50, 16:35, 18:46, 15:32

First 6 miles, even with that bit'o'walking in mile 3, average to 12:07. Then the wheels fell off.

I've struggled with pace since I got back from running after having baby Sophie. I think this is perfectly normal post-baby. My post-baby pace for sure ain't my pre-baby pace, but I don't know what it should be.  And frustratingly, the best way to find out is to keep running long runs and finding out what works for me. It's experimentation.

Between this run and Austin Half Marathon, I get it that I'm not going to be back at my 11:06 min/mi half marathon PR any time super soon. And realistically, if I look at two of my Texas Independence Relay legs that were 6.4 and 6.5 miles, the pace was 11:36 and 11:52 respectively.  Looking at some standard pace charts, I should be racing a half marathon at 12:25 pace based on that. Instead I'm trying to go 11:45 - 12:15 and feeling super-ugh pushing out more miles after a 10K distance!

So maybe for Dallas Rock N Roll Half in two weeks, I should focus on 12:45 pace. (I say for that race, because next week's Grasslands Half Marathon will be my first trail half marathon so just going to go have fun and run easy.) If that goes well, inch it up bit by bit, and eventually I'll be back to that 11:06 PR pace. I mean, for gosh sakes, I've been back running since January 10 and only logged 145 miles. It's going to take time!

Okay, thanks for the rant.


  1. I think you're doing great. I tend to go faster at races than my long run though. I think its something mental. But go easy on yourself, you got up to half marathon distance so quickly post-baby. Just finishing at this point is a huge accomplishment.

  2. For what it is worth, I just read on Kara Goucher's blog that she is just starting to feel "normal" again post baby. Sounds like she has alot of the same worries that we all have. You are doing great!