Last night I had a fantabulous run. Most importantly, my leg didn’t hurt at all for the first time since July, so that is big news! Unfortunately, my lower back hurt because I slept on it goofy or something, but that is a new ailment and not one that is running related given that I was coming off of three days of no running. My first few running steps hurt my back, so I took a few seconds to stretch a bit and then walked half a block or so. Then, I just ran easy until my back loosened up. Even with that rocky beginning, my overall time/pace was really good for a 4.2-mile training run on a moderately hilly course:
My mile splits were 9:59, 9:00, 8:33, and 8:43 (the last half of the last mile was a lot uphill, the whole “Legion/Cemetery Hill” if you’re local). I am thrilled with those splits, especially given that the run felt easy. I’m not sure why it was easy…it could’ve been that I took three days off, that the humidity and temps were lower, or my new method of “Flintstone running”.
I worked really hard at increasing my cadence and focusing on moving forward instead of bouncing. I also worked on keeping my cadence the same, meaning I strided out a bit more on the downhills and shortened my stride on the uphills. I have no idea if this is right or wrong; it just felt like the right thing to do to keep my rhythm. Here’s a chart of my cadence over the last 4 runs (most recent at the top):
Even though I felt like I was taking way more steps, my cadence wasn’t that drastically different. Or, is a change of 6 drastic? I don’t even really understand cadence that well. However, something was different because I ran an 8:33 mile in there and it didn’t even feel hard. I also felt like I was coming down a lot more gently on my feet. I guess I won’t know until I get some more training in and a race to really know! Our hometown race is this Saturday and I’m terrified. I haven’t decided yet if I will actually try to race it or if I’ll push Campbell in the stroller and use that as my excuse. I’m so not in race shape right now, and there will be tons of people I know watching the finish. Yikes!
What are your thoughts on cadence? Do your hometown races freak you out?