On sunday I took off from my house despite the grey skies. The wind was gusting and it looked like the sky would open up at any moment but it wasn’t so cold as to be worried. Even in shorts and a thin shirt I was warm when the rain started to come down as I entered Assiniboine Park. After getting my new watch and reading about all my different paces I had made a plan to do 12 miles @ 7min pace. I had made my normal way down Wellington running 6:58, 6:47, 6:40… I felt good and when the rain hit me I picked up the pace even more.
I always keep track of where I am energy wise by my breathing. I start most runs breathing 5 strides in and 5 strides out, making my way down to 4/4 as I continue to warm up, then to 3/3 as I start to actually work and then 2/2 when I am actually pushing, even if I’m not going fast. This works because I try not to force my breathing into any one group, if I’ve been out for 5 minutes and already need to start breathing 3/3 I do it… but that tells me I’ve gone out too hard.
I ran on the paths and then gradually onto the road as the rain chased away the picnickers and soccer players. I wager there was only a handful of people in the whole park by the time I hit my 6th and 7th mile, now at 6:20-6:30 pace. I haven’t had many hard runs this year and I feel I need to change that, I was still breathing 4/4 up until the end of my 6th mile. I headed out of the park hard, comfortably hard. Making my over the paved paths through the trees, along the river and then finally under the train bridge still breathing three steps in three steps out.
Going into the last mile of the boulevard trail the rain had stopped and I decided that 10 miles at the pace I was going would be sufficient so long as I did a cool down. My shorts were floppy, wet and sticking awkwardly to my legs. My shirt heavy and sagging big and open around the collar. I held steady until the last half mile where I opened up a little bit my breathing finally getting to 2/2. I looked at my watch and saw the pace pick up. 6:10 to 6:05. I hit the bridge and stride over it comfortably, trying to remember what my 800m pace was back in high school.
The cool down was chilling and I was still soaked when I got home. I had to have a shower just to warm up but I felt awesome aside from the chill.