Run 620: The consistency is getting strange

Run 620
Average pace: 5:53/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 2:20 pm
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 29:35
Weather: Sunny with some cloud, windy
Temp: 24ºC
Humidity: 45%
Wind: light to high
BPM: 157
Weight: 165.4 pounds
Total distance to date: 4680 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8
Shoes: Saucony Switchback ISO (35 km)

Thanks to running on Thursday instead of the planned Wednesday, I ended up running today–a Saturday–when I didn’t want to. I prefer weekday runs because of the smaller crowds on the trail. Weirdly, crowds were not an issue on the trail today, as it was not that busy, despite quite nice weather.

Although temperature was similar to Thursday, it was quite windy at times, but generally in a good way, with the breeze feeling cool and pleasant, not something I was fighting against. My mouth didn’t even feel particularly dry, something that’s generally been the case so far this summer.

I felt a bit of a stitch in my lower left abdomen early on, but kept steady and it went away. No other issues during the run, with the knees again fine and the sore left foot feeling better.

My energy level was also the best of the last three runs, and I did not feel tired even during the final km. This was reflected in my BPM, which dropped from 161 to 157, a nice improvement and a sign that my stamina is improving at last.

What was weird was my pace–5:53/km. This is identical to my previous run and only one second off the run before that. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a set of eerily consistent runs. The total time of today’s run and the previous is separated by three seconds. I could never be this precise on purpose. Think about it. If you break the run down to seconds, this is how they compare:

Run 1: 1772
Run 2: 1775

That is a 0.17% difference, which is ridiculous.

Although I am tempted to do a fourth clockwise run around the lake just to see if this would freakily happen again, I am leaning toward counter-clockwise, as they have done a bit of remedial work on the section of the main trail that got trashed as they resurfaced the side trails (which is still ongoing). It’s been quite awhile since I’ve run counter-clockwise and bypassed the side trails, so it will feel a bit different and I’m all over the novelty factor.

Overall, today’s run was solid. The pace was unchanged, but I felt better, my BPM was lower and I had enough energy to run multiple km afterward, even coming close to matching my 5K pace.

Run 619: The same but different

Run 619
Average pace: 5:53/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 11:25 pm
Distance: 5.02 km
Time: 29:32
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 23ºC
Humidity: 51%
Wind: light
BPM: 161
Weight: 166.2 pounds
Total distance to date: 4675 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8
Shoes: Saucony Switchback ISO (30 km)

It was not quite as warm today as Monday, but I ended up sweating more because the heat/humidity mix was leaning a little more to the “you’re going to sweat” side of things.

Today’s run was interesting in how much it was the same, yet different, than the previous one.

BPM was identical at 161. Average pace differed by a mere second, and total time by only 10 seconds. Spread over 5 km, that’s pretty tiny.

The difference today was in how the overall run played out. I started faster and ended faster, but found a steadier, but slower pace in-between the two. This made for a run that felt a lot more comfortable. I felt perfectly fine until heading into the final km. At this point when running clockwise at the lake, the trail is pretty open, meaning the sun is beating down on you most of the time. I was also starting to get a wee bit tired, and the extra exertion to maintain pace was being felt. It still wasn’t bad, though, and certainly not like Monday’s run.

And yes, I meant to run yesterday, but I had an intense bout of vacation laziness I could not overcome.

The left foot was again a bit sore starting out, but not too bad after. I wonder if the orthotic is starting to just get old and I’m feeling the True Foot Experience more now. Maybe I’ll follow up on that next week.

Conditions were otherwise good. A few runners, some walkers, one over-exuberant and unleashed lab (I called out to the owner my favorite three words for dog owners: Leash your dog. I did this twice, to make sure she heard. I don’t think she did, if you know what I mean.)

Another difference with today’s run vs. Monday’s is how I felt after. Monday I was pooped and made a few token efforts to run after finishing the 5K. Today I walked the first post-run km, then ran almost the entire length of what would have been the 7th km of the run. I repeated this a few times, running for longer stretches than normal. I felt positively zippy, which bodes well for the eventual tackling of a full 10K (possibly soon™).

Overall, a good run, despite the deceptively minimal change in performance.