There is always room for improvement. The trick is to find the balance between always trying to improve and appreciating where you are.
My runs over the past couple of months have improved. I feel stronger. I have more endurance. I have more speed. However, I'm just relishing in that fact and I'm not trying to become amazing - just yet. Maybe where I am is already amazing!
Over the Thanksgiving break I went to South Carolina to my family. On Thanksgiving day I ran a Turkey Trot with my dad that went pretty well. I wore my Garmin so I could measure the course and know my splits.
The race was supposed to be a 5k, but I ran 3.23 miles, which is .12 longer.
My overall time: 27:42
Average pace: 8:34 minutes/mile
Max pace: 7:05
Mile 1: 8:44
Mile 2: 8:36
Mile 3: 8:31
Negative splits! Woo hoo!
Although I thought I knew the course, we took about a 1/3-1/2 mile detour that really played mind games with me. Lesson learned: know your course! Drive it/run it/walk it/study it on a map. You might be pushing yourself way too hard too soon into the run and then you're destined for a burn out. Fortunately for me, I didn't stop and was able to finish strong, but I sure was tired.
On Saturday, I decided to run the island road. Seabrook Island has a road that goes all the way around it called (fittingly enough) Seabrook Island Road. It's 6.4 miles! I ran the whole way, at a slow pace (10:05 average). It was in the 50s, sunny, and the road is flat as can be, so it was a pretty enjoyable run. To run a hard race and then do a long run so close together was pretty ambitious of me though. I probably won't do that again until I'm in better running shape.
For the next 30 days, I'm changing up my yoga routine. There is a yoga place literally two minutes from my place called Yoga On Baxter. They have a GREAT introductory offer of 30 days for $30 - which is unbeatable with other studios in the area. The closest thing they have to Bikram is a Beginner Hot Yoga class which takes place in an open room heated to 90 degrees or so, and we do 99% of the poses in the Bikram series along with a few others. Last night was my first night and I was pretty pleased. There weren't more than 10 of us in the room and the instructor used to have a strictly Bikram studio in San Francisco so I believe she knows what she is doing.
This morning I went to a Vinyasa class at 6 am, which was mainly a flow class (moving directly from one posture into another while focusing on your breath). Because Vinyasa classes tend to be more upper body oriented, my arm muscles were definitely burning! It was a good way to start the day despite almost falling asleep in the final Savasana.
My plan: attend as many yoga classes @ Yoga On Baxter as I can for the next 29 days. I'll add in approximately 2-3 runs per week as well, but focus mainly on yoga so I can have some chill time before 2011 (and a lot of running!) begins.
Have a great week!