I am not a fan of summer running! The southern heat and humidity stifle my breathing and feel like anchors slowing down my legs. Oh the agony of it all. Forget 5k and 10k pace, I have what I call a summer pace and a winter pace, otherwise known as damn slow (summer) and not much faster (winter).
Yesterday afternoon, (middle of July where I do some of my damn slowest running), I got out for a 4-mile run. Cursory glances at the Garmin indicated that it was going really well, too well actually. I brushed it off as the Garmin dropping satellites. Post run, when I got a chance to look at the stats, I was surprised to discover my pace was 1.5 minutes faster per mile than my usual summer pace. Whaaaat? Almost 6 minutes fast than my last 4-mile run! How did that happen? Have I been slacking all summer??
Well, last evening, while still feeling the glow from my great afternoon run, I set about trying to figure out how I had run that same old route so much faster. My first thought was weather. The temperature was 8-10 degrees cooler (low 80’s) and the sun was in and out of a heavy cloud cover. These were pluses in the “faster run” column BUT the humidity was kick my butt high and high humidity cancels out any positive weather factor.
Then I remembered my prior evening bicycle ride. I started the ride with a nice warm up then proceeded to do a series of 1/2-mile sprints. My legs were exhausted at the end and I questioned whether I would be able to run the next day. I did get out and run and as I said above, it was a really good run! In thinking about the bicycle ride and the run, I realized that my leg turnover felt the same for both. I recently stepped up my bicycle riding and just added sprints. Could the run performance be related to the increase in bicycling? Maybe…
Pictures from my run:
Dapple sunshine on a boat ramp on an inlet of the Tennessee River
Remote Area Medical hanger where workers appear to be preparing for a weekend medical mission
Lots of thunder and lightening in these clouds
But the rain never came
Hope you have had a great week of fitness and fun! Thanks for reading.