I went out for my first run today in nine months to some mixed results… Being my first run in quite some time, I had a tough time pacing. Even though I was holding back quite a bit to start, my first mile was an 8:02 and I was only able to slow that down to an 8:09… At the end of that second mile I knew I was in trouble.
When I decided to get back to running today I thought about just doing a 5k and shoot for 23 minutes or so – the notion being start short and build. And let’s face it, a sub 8 minute 5k after nine months of no jogging sure would be fun to write about. On the other hand, I’m in better shape than a 5k and I know it so I ended up deciding I’d do my normal 7.2 mile loop and shoot for a mid to high 8 minute pace – and I’d just done the first two 30-45 seconds faster. I’m a negative split kind of guy – if I’m going to have a good day I’ve gotta run hard late in the run, not out if the gate. This is why I knew I was in trouble… I’m notoriously bad at pacing early on – and there was no way I was making it seven miles at an 8 minute pace on my first run since last winter.
I decided to cut the seven to five miles and shoot for an 8:15-8:20 average. I had a slow third mile because I was overheating and had to pull off my jacket and tie it around my waist (8:44). My fourth and fifth miles were right where they should have been at 8:30. Five miles, 41m:57s or an 8:23 pace. Not bad for my first day back. A couple of interesting notes: I am a bit out if running shape – getting my breathing right was a pain in the butt, I ended up fighting a side stitch for much of the last three miles. I used a lot of muscles that I hadn’t used in a while. My bike fit is good – no hamstring soreness (SWEET!).
Afterwards I had some lunch at the running club, some good conversation and headed home for a nap.