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Running Streak: Month Six

  • Ran in one state
  • Ran in one city (well, Meridian and Boise)
  • longest run: 6 miles
  • shortest run: 1 mile (minimum requirement to keep the streak alive)
  • total November mileage: 56  
  • total streak days (at the end of November): 183 (goal is 273, on February 28th).  
  • total streak mileage: 371 miles. Even with a bunch of one-milers, I am still averaging just over two miles per day.   
  • 29 solo days and 1 run with Tam. 
  • fastest mile: 8:25?
As with September and October, November brought a lot of one-milers and a couple of surprisingly fast runs. I continue to be amazed by these results. I'm busy, tired, running slow one-milers almost two-thirds of the time, and still getting faster. On November 6th I went out for a little three-mile run. The first mile was decent speed for me (9:07), and I figured I was on my way to a 27:30 run. My shock came when I checked out my second split and saw that I'd just run my fastest mile of the year: 8:25. At that point I gave the last mile all I had and finished with a new 2013 PR: 26:10. 

After this run I went through my running logs for the last 15 years to see how close I'm getting to lifetime records. I discovered that back in 2000-2001 I broke the 26-minute mark 5 times: 25:59, 25:56, 25:52, 25:25, and 24:41. I have always thought that those times were a result of my marathon training. I was regularly running 5-6 days a week, completing long runs (10-20 milers) each weekend, and surpassing 100 miles a month several times. Since my pulmonary embolism in 2004, I have been cautioned not to do marathon training again, and so I have long believed that those sub-26-minute 3-milers were a thing of the past. 

But here I am, averaging 60 miles a month, running easy 1-milers most of the time, and as of November 6th I was within 10 seconds of seeing that 25 on my watch again. 

And then came the Turkey Day 5k, on November 28th. 

I have two enormous regrets associated with this run: 
1. I forgot to charge my Garmin watch, so I was using my old-fashioned, non-GPS watch. 
2. I somehow missed the 1-mile sign.

If I had worn the Garmin or seen the sign, I might be able to report a new lifetime record for a single mile. My previous record is 8:09, and my 2013 record is 8:25. I am confident that I ran my first mile faster than 8:25. In fact, I very likely broke the 8:00-mark, but I'll never know for sure. This is what I do know: I ran my first mile and a half in 12:09, and my two-mile was 16:24. 

I also know that my first sideache in years slowed me down in the last mile (8:55). Fortunately, I did see the 3-mile sign, and I am pleased (and bewildered) to report that I smashed my 2013 3-mile PR by running a 25:19. Dude. That's the second fastest three miles of my life. 

How is this happening? Based on what I know about fitness, I would never have predicted that kind of speed would be the result of daily, mostly slow, mostly short running. I would never have predicted that I would run the second fastest three miles of my life just three months before my 50th birthday--with such low mileage and so little high-intensity training. 

All I can say is this: what a delightful surprise, and, thank you, God, for legs that can run.

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