Do You Forget How to Run Fast?

Saturday was a day of extremes. Chris ran a race first thing in the morning. It was in the 30’s and snowing/raining and super windy. Cold+rain+wind is my least favorite weather. It was on a dike along the Mississippi River, too. Brr!

(photo credit)

I opted to stay home. I am not a fair weather runner, but I’m certainly a fair-weather racer. Paying money to run is bad enough; I’m not doing it in miserable conditions. Luckily where we live there are plenty of tiny races where preregistration is not necessary and I can make last-minute decisions.

By 5 p.m., it had warmed up to the 50’s and stopped spitting ice, although the wind was still fierce. I ran alongside Campbell while she rode her bike. After 2.5 miles, she was getting tired, so I dropped her off at home and ran a mile and half tempo run. I guess that’s a tempo run…is a mile and a half long enough? I ran the 4th mile in 8:36, and I honestly do not feel like I could have run a smidge faster (I used to race 5k’s between 7:30 and 8:00 pace). I ended with a very leisurely trot around our block a few times to make 4.5 miles.

It wasn’t just my breathing, it was my body. It’s like I forgot how to run fast. I am getting adjusted today for the first time in 4 weeks, so it’s possible my body is out of alignment, and there was a strong head wind for some of it, but more likely is that I just haven’t tried to run fast in a very long time. Clearly I need to work on at least one tempo run a week!

Chris has always been of the mentality that people CAN run plenty fast enough but that they just need conditioning to hold that speed. He feels that hill workouts and other strength types of workouts, and tempo runs/races, do more for your speed that track intervals. I’ve always agreed with him in the past. However, after Sunday’s performance, I’m wondering if I do need a little practice in getting my legs to turn over faster!

Do you feel like you lose the ability to run fast after a sluggish winter? What is your favorite method to increase speed?

What Counts as a Run?

We are having such glorious weather this weekend! Yesterday I ran alongside Campbell while she rode her bike. Luckily she’s remembered how now (earlier in the week there was drama because she had kind of forgotten since last fall). I let her pick the pace and the route, which resulted in a 4 mile run in about a 1 square mile area.

The pace cracks me up.

Our best pace was 6:50…too bad it doesn’t show the worst because that would’ve been entertaining. I would guess we spent a lot of the run around 11:00 pace but there were obviously some VERY slow stretches too.

My view for most of the way:

She was not tired when we finished and was not amused when I said it was time to go inside.

She rode a little bit up and down our alley and then convinced her dad to walk around the block once.

We ran on the bike trail in the park by us, which is flooded in a few spots from melting snow. My poor PureGrits. I guess they were made for this.

Luckily Campbell’s bike has a basket, because she has stuff she needs in there.

Including this tag from one of Evan or Chris’s swimsuits that she’s kept in there for over a year. Hmm.

Evan came along too but he spent all of his time riding ahead or behind, jumping curbs and other boy stuff.

Do you think a run that is several minutes slower per mile with many breaks still counts as a run? Have you ever had a kid ride their bike alongside you or ridden alongside someone else? Before Chris & I had kids, I used to ride my bike w/ him while he ran.

Running Shorts

Have you noticed how running shorts have changed over the years?

I was noticing this the other day when I realized that few people wear the same style of shorts as I do these days (Nike Tempo).

Women’s have changed pretty dramatically. Check out American distance runner Merry Lepper in 1963. (I think the collared shirt is a nice touch.)

At least she HAD shorts. Unlike the first woman credited with running a marathon distance, Marie Louise Ledru, in 1918. (Is that a bow?)

Check out one of the women’s marathon world-record holders, Violet Piercy, in 1926. (are those Mary Janes?)

Pretty much everyone has seen these images of Katherine Switzer in the 1967 Boston Marathon, I’m sure.

Here’s marathoner Jacqueline Hansen in 1975.

I’m not sure exactly which year this photo of Grete Waitz is from, but she was a marathoner in the late 70’s.

Joan Benoit Sameulson in 1980:

Here’s Ingrid Kristiansen in 1985:

It didn’t take long before women were wearing what we are accustomed to seeing now. Here’s Paula Radcliffe in 2002.

Now teeny tiny shorts (undies) are very common among the elites. However, you can see in this picture of the 2014 Boston Marathon that many of the women are wearing tiny compression shorts.

Clearly we are not all elite and obviously even the elites probably do not train in those types of shorts. I have a hunch that a lot of elites train in short compression shorts these days. Here’s a pic Kara Goucher poster on Instagram earlier in the week of herself training.

Back the in 90’s and early 2000’s, I wore longer shorts. I can’t find the exact pair but they were on this order:

Since I restarted running in 2011, I have only worn Nike Tempo shorts.

Now I’ve noticed that most of my running buddies are switching to compression shorts. Some wear them a bit longer than these, and some a bit shorter.

Now when I put on my Nike Tempos they seem so big and baggy! However, compression shorts feel weird to me too. I have a pair of capris I wear sometimes, but I like to wear long shirts when I wear those.

What type of shorts are your favorite? Have you switched over the years?

(file this under the ever growing pile of “first world problems”)