The First Run Towards the Buffalo Half Marathon

Today was supposed to be my “official” first run towards the Buffalo half marathon.  I say “official” because even though I ran a couple times last week briefly, this is week 1 out of the next 16 until the actual race.  Sixteen weeks to go!

Last night I went out drinking and generally, I never wake up for a run the next day mostly because I’m hungover.  I told myself to take it easy (that hardly ever happens) and that I’d wake up around 10am and go running.  I ended up surprising myself because I did take it easy, with help from the 4 drinks I had somehow not affecting me, and even though I got back at 2:30am I woke up to go running!  Talk about starting the morning/day off right.

I did an easy four miles at Delaware Park, this time with the HRM.  My previous training plans would estimate my easy runs somewhere around 10:00 minute miles but it’s so difficult for me to run any slower than 9:30; today was no different.  My average pace was 8:49, though I did try to sprint in the last half mile. For the most part, the first 3.5 miles felt really easy for me according to pace.  It was a little cold and I haven’t had a real run in over two months so my body wasn’t happy, but it wasn’t a struggle.

That’s funny because I just started reading about how to effectively train with the HRM and it says 65-75% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) is where you should target your easy runs.  I haven’t done a full out test running for my MHR, but if I do a standard formula from Runner’s World 208 – (.7 x your age), I get 191 for a MHR.  That puts my easy runs somewhere between 124 – 143bpm.

The problem with that?  I was at my “easy pace” heart rate almost instantly.

Heart Rate over "Easy" 4 mile run on January 27th, 2013.
Heart Rate over “Easy” 4 mile run on January 27th, 2013.

Oops.  I’ve also read that an easy pace is also conversational, which I could carry on a breathy conversation for most of this run.  Hmm.  I’m going to have to investigate this a little more, I think.  I assume my easy runs are never as easy as they should be, but I really enjoy just going out for what’s comfortable for me.  If I feel good, I want to push it a little faster.  If I feel bad, I want to take it a little easier.  Then sometimes, I don’t feel great but I know I need to push it and I do it anyways.  Perhaps my heart rate will be a little different given my heart condition, even if it’s not supposed to affect anything until I’m in my late 60’s.

I suppose this will take a bit more reading than just two quick articles on the internet.  Happy start of half marathon season (for me!)


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Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

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