Mark's Badgerland Blog
Greetings from my hometown of Saxon, WI! I'm going to write about running events throughout Wisconsin and the Western U.P. of Michigan; many of these events you may have never heard of but aren't too far away from the Twin Ports. I look forward to share my thoughts and experiences with you as both a recreational runner and race organizer.
March 7, 2009: Getting In The Miles Without Getting Any Speed
Well, I'm back again to talk about more running! Now, that we're into March, I'm starting to see more people running. According to KBJR's meteorologist George Kessler, March produces more snow than any other month of the year. March is also known as a transition month in which there could be a real mixed bag of weather. Yesterday, I drove from Oshkosh to Saxon in temperatures between 45 and 50 degrees and sunny weather. Tomorrow, the forecast for Northeastern Wisconsin (Green Bay and Fox Cities) calls for a mix of sleet and snow. Because of that forecast, I'll have to drive back to Omro later today. For Tuesday, that same area may get thunderstorms!
Since a person doesn't know what the weather will be from one day to the next, the best thing to do is to get outside and do some running "while the getting's good." Just like the title of my blog states, I've been able to get some really good miles in, including a 9 mile run two weeks ago in Omro and a 12-miler in Green Bay last Saturday. Conversely, my times on these runs have been very slow with a pace over 10 minutes-per-mile. On my 3.5 mile run this morning in Saxon, my pace was at about 10 minutes-per-mile.
Am I discouraged with my slow times? Definitely not! Do I wish my pace would be faster? Sure, but this early in the running season I would prefer to get a 10 to 13 mile run in at a 10 or 11 minute-per-mile pace than to run a 5K under 27 minutes. According to U.P. Road Runners Club President Fred Jacobs, he wrote in the club's newsletter "Running Amuck" that a runner generally runs at a pace about a minute a mile slower in the winter than she or he would in the spring or summer. Fred took in account road conditions, temperatures, precipitation, etc. I agree, because I usually run at my best late in the summer and early in the fall. A good example for me was last year. When I ran the Fitgers 5K on cold, raining April morning, I finished at 27:15. On July 5 at the Draggin' Tail 5 Mile Run in Lake Nebagamon, I got to the 5K marker at 26:12!
So I guess what I'm trying to say is don't be discouraged if you're not going as fast as you hope. Just keep getting out there when you can, and those times will eventually go down. Now, I just got to convince myself of that! Finally, good running to all of you, and I'll write my next blog during the last weekend of March. Take care!