December Recap

Still not running as frequently as I would like but I did manage to get in 12 runs during the month of December. I guess that’s not bad considering the holidays and the tons of rain we got during the month.

60.41 Miles in December
45.07 Miles in November

That’s a net increase of 15.34 miles from the month of November.

On December 7th, I ran in the local Jingle Jam 10K here in Evans. I’ve run this one quite a few times over the past few years. It’s a very well organized event and they always hand out really nice long sleeve shirts for this one. The Jingle Jam 10K benefits the Safe Homes Domestic Violence Center.

I’ve run a half marathon, and a few 5K trail runs this year, but this was the first 10K I’ve run since the last Jingle Jam 10K. Last year, I was still recovering from my triple bypass and wasn’t even close to being ready so I walked a great deal of course. It’s a pretty challenging course with a lot of hills, especially in the second half. I definitely felt better prepared this year but kept my expectations low. Because of the hills, I would have been happy with any finish time under 1:18. Last year, with the walking, I finished in something around 1:23 so the 1:18 finish would be an improvement. Certainly felt like I could do better and hoped I could finish with a time around 1:15.

Around the 2.25 mile mark.

I started out slow and easy. A ton of people went flying by me. After about the two-mile mark I almost felt like I was running by myself. The fast runners were long gone and the bulk of the “middle of the pack” was in sight but ahead of me.

My plan was to stay relaxed for the first three miles and see how I felt then. By mile three, I was feeling pretty strong so I started picking up the pace a bit. From that point on, I starting passing people left and right and nobody ever got past me again. The mile splits for the first three miles were:

Mile 1 – 12:16
Mile 2 – 11:39
Mile 3 – 12:04

Miles 4-6 got harder because there were more hills involved. Split times for the next three miles were:

Mile 4 – 11:35
Mile 5 – 10:46
Mile 6 – 12:07

Miles 5 and 6 were difficult. I was shocked when I saw my split for mile 5. That mile really hurt and I was shocked when I saw it was my fastest mile split. Mile 6 was pretty much uphill all the way. Not as steep of inclines like the previous mile but it was never-ending.

I finished the last two-tenths of a mile really strong with a 10:55 pace. All uphill except maybe the last 100 yards. My finish time was 1:13:21. For now, this is a post-CABG PR!

Since the triple bypass I’ve had a very hard time with running hills and where I live you really can’t get away from them much. I have to say since mid-November, I’ve really noticed progress in pushing up the hills. I slow down for sure but I’m not walking them anymore. The rest of the month I just kept trying to build my confidence on the hills and I’m more focused on trying to pick up my running cadence. I’m getting close to maintaining a cadence of 160 or more, but I’m not quite there yet.

That’s a wrap for December. I’m feeling pretty confident with my running now. Way more confident than I’ve felt since before the bypass for sure. The month of January is going to be more difficult for sure. Not because of anything weather or running-related really but, I’ve got a bunch of dental work scheduled and I know it’s going to prevent me from getting out some. We’ll see how it goes. I’m more into quality over quantity right now so it should all work out in the end. Until the next time! See ya!