Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Set a New Pace: summer virtual 5k

In the beginning of the month, I signed up for Toni's "Welcome to Summer Virtual 5k", hoping it would motivate me to get running!

Every day this month seemed to be either pouring rain or sweltering heat. Not my cup of tea. So, sadly, most of my runs were on the treadmill.  However, I kept moving, I challenged myself with intervals and steady runs.  Most were in the two- to four-mile range.  Nothing amazing, but decent half-hour workouts.  

Before I knew it, it was time to be running the virtual race!  Wow, June flew by quickly.  (Every month seems to be going by quickly...)  Not wanting to run in 98-degree humidity on Sunday, I went to the gym to complete the run on the treadmill.  Better than nothing, and it turned out, one of my best runs yet.

I stepped on, set the incline to my standard 0.5%, and after a 3-minute walking warm up, set the speed to 6.5 mph and ran.  Now, usually I do 6.0 when I'm planning to just run continuously.  That's my comfortable pace.  That, I know I can do for 30 minutes straight both on the treadmill and on the road (race recap!).  6.5 mph is slightly above there, but it was time to get out of my comfort zone (see Charlotte's post for similar inspiration!).  I hoped that all my recent interval training would make me suddenly able to sustain a slightly higher pace.

So, 6.5 is set.  Now, Meredith, don't touch it.  Hands off.  Towel over the screen, you're running for the next 30 minutes.  Aaand go. 

I listened to my motivational music.  Just when I got tired after about Mile 2 and wanted to slow down to 6.0, or maybe even 5.5, "I Surrender" ("I Surrender" - Cadence, Micky Modelle RMX) came on, and it pushed me further.  From my first 5k race playlist, I knew the song was 6 minutes long.  "Keep going until this song ends."  That was easy enough, the song motivated me.  But then I just kept going.  Six minutes, seven minutes, eight minutes later, why stop now?  So, powering through, I decided that I would run the entire 3 miles at a 6.5 mph pace. 

And that, I did. :)  

Final time: 27:41

I simply didn't touch it until I passed three miles. 

Two problems:
(1)  The shot above shows 27:57 but that's because, not used to photographing my treadmill, I completely flubbed in first trying to pause it, but then "Paused" replaced my data.  Then I let it keep going but had to step off so I could properly take the picture.  Fail.
(2)  A 5k is 3.1 miles and not 3.  I seem to always forget the little tenth of a mile!  Good thing I'd already covered that distance in the aforementioned 3-minute warm-up.

yayyy gross after run!
hitting the mat. 

Nice and sweaty, I went off to work my abs and stretch, thrilled with my new running time.  Is it a PR?  Kinda?  It was 3 miles, not 3.1, and it was on the treadmill rather than outside, so I'm not sure if it counts.  My fastest 5k time was 28:09, although in that race, I stopped to walk for a few moments.  

Anyhoo - I DID IT.  I increased my pace! Now, I plan to keep testing myself, breaking slowly but surely out of my comfort zone. Next, I'll try repeating this, continuing my interval runs, and taking my new pace outside. 

Accomplish one goal, adjust it, and repeat. See ya next time ;)

(One day left to enter: GIVEAWAY!) 


  1. Great job - way to push the pace and rock it!

    1. Thanks! Hope to keep it up and get a little bit faster next month, too :)

  2. Great job Meredith!!! Thanks for participating!!!!

  3. GO MERE GO!!!!!
    I am running today.
    a little
    alert the media please :)

  4. Rock star. I really struggle pushing myself running. Not sure why. I like sprints, etc. But when it comes to pushing myself for a good time the entire run, I tend to punk out. Shooting for a sub 30 minute 5k this year. Going to get it!

  5. Great job Meredith. Keep rocking the running!


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