Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Embracing my inner "teenage girlness"

I once posted on Facebook that when people ask if I like country music, I respond I like Taylor Swift's songs, and that people find that a non-responsive answer. (Admittedly, the more she's moved toward pop rock, the more I've liked her albums: Red > Sparks Fly > Fearless. I've got high hopes for 1989.)

One of my Facebook friends commented, "When did you turn into a teenaged girl?"

Ha ha ha ha! Fortunately, I am comfortable in my fortysomethingness, and I'm not embarrassed to write that I really do enjoy listening to Swift's music. However, today I'm ready to embrace my inner teenage girlness fully.

I went for a threshold run this morning, and for entertainment, I was prepared to watch the end of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which I had leftover from yesterday's long run. For some reason, though, my Kindle Fire wouldn't stream in the gym even though it appeared to have connected to the wi-fi. I could have listened to an audiobook on my phone (I'm about 2/3 of the way through Peter F. Hamilton's space opera Judas Unchained) but on a whim I decided to shuffle through the selected songs I loaded on my phone from Red. That turned out not to be quite enough, so I moved to Sparks Fly from there.

Anyway, the resulting threshold run rocked in more ways than one! I had intended on a 2-3-2/2.5 split, meaning 2 easy miles* to start, and then 3 miles at threshold pace, and then 2-2.5 miles back at an easy pace. I ended up feeling so strong that I increased my threshold pace from 7:13 to 7:08 and then to 7:03, and finished 5 miles instead of 3. My 10K PR is around a 7:12 pace, so the last three miles of this run were slightly faster, and yet I didn't feel like I was pressing; I'd categorize the effort level as a 3 on a 1-5 scale.
* My easy miles are around an 8:30 pace.
There is some research to the effect that for non-elite runners, music can boost running performance. I don't usually listen to music when I run, as it's mostly TV on the treadmill, or an audiobook if I'm outside (and I live in a hilly area, so it's hard to track "fast" performance outside), but Taylor Swift really seems to get me to run fast without feeling like it's too hard.

Hmm, guess I need to head out to Target to pick up the deluxe edition of 1989. . . .

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