I hit the treadmill for a 5K today and decided I was going to push it. I started out at 8:49 pace for 1.6 miles, I notched it up to 8:41 pace for 1.1 miles and then the final 0.4 miles was back at 8:49. Grand total: 27:19- my fastest 5K time ever. If I had my water bottle I would have kept up that pace, I think, but I was really pushing it and needed the dial back just a little. It didn't really feel much easier, but at least I finished without throwing up, something I was worried about at one point. I'm pretty pleased because last April was my personal best 5K at 27:41, and I've still got five weeks until that race. Could I potentially come in under 27 minutes?! That would be awesome. I pushed that comfort zone today.
However, I've got to move off the treadmill, my other comfort zone, and get outside. All of my training has been indoors thus far, because my asthma is really aggravated by the cold weather and because I'm running at 5:30am and I'm a wuss about the potential wildlife with raccoons and skunks around. But, I don't know how to pace myself for personally propelled running anymore. A treadmill is easy, dial in a pace and boom, steady pace. I've got a high boredom tolerance I guess, as long as I've got my iPod, or even the TV sometimes, I'm alright on that dreadmill for long periods- at least up to 85 minutes. That's how long I was on there Monday for my 8-miler. I maintained 10:21 miles for the whole 8 miles and really it felt like just about the strongest run I've ever had. The treadmill also helps me to push at times when I'm sure I would slow down under my own pacing. I've got to figure out how to start out. I don't want to start too slow and cheat myself on a good workout, but I don't want to take off blazing and blow up five minutes into a run. I know this is something I've just got to do, can't wish it to happen. I supposed if money were no object I would invest in a heart rate monitor with pace output, but right now that's not a very feasible option for my finances. I was hoping to one day invest in a Polar S625 (or something like that), so I can make cool graphs and stuff, but maybe that's more than I need and a more basic one would be worth the money. Maybe I'll see how the outdoor runs start out and evaluate from there. A couple more weeks and it will be warm and light enough to hit the outdoors.