I decided to divide my 29 minute goal time into 10 minutes for the first, uphill mile, 9 minutes for the second, downhill mile, and 10 minutes for the slightly-uphill third mile. I warmed up with lunges, walking, and jogging to get to where I marked off the start of my 3-mile loop. The first mile clicked off about perfect in 10:04, but I still worry about injuring myself running downhill too fast and ended up doing the second mile a bit slower in 10:06. Also, something about running uphill always makes me feel like I deserve to coast a bit afterwards, so I'm probably just not pushing myself. Maybe wearing my heart rate monitor would keep me motivated to maintain effort... Determined to not fall too far off my intended overall time, I pushed myself a bit and finished the last mile in a bit over 10:07.
At first I was disappointed in this, so I decided to make a list of excuses:
- It was humid (OK, well it's always humid in the morning in Austin :-)
- My allergies were acting up a bit, giving me a bit of a sinus headache for the rest of the day and I lost at least a few seconds in the third mile coughing
- Most of all, I had caffeine and spicy food for lunch and dinner the day before, which didn't let me sleep as well as I'd like
The good news is that this was a little fast for a tempo run, so I should be able to back off a tiny bit and repeat it next week without too much stress. I'll try again, possibly with my HRM to make sure I don't overdo it, next month and see if I've progressed.
Next up: Saturday's 6-mile run