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Humid Polar Bear Run

April 16, 2012

Hey everyone, it’s Monday! Mondays are typically rough on everyone, so here’s some motivation to make today a good one!


Also, if you want to start the day out well, remember to make a list of great aspects of your personality, or things you are thankful for!

Guess what? I only have 2.5 more Mondays!!! Haha the .5 is because we have one day to “make up” not having class on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and I don’t know if all my teachers will take advantage of that day… I sure hope not!

What’s scary about that is we have 2 weeks of class left and I only have a couple days before my finals begin! I just have to power through!

One thing that always keeps me sane during stressful times is getting in a workout! Exercise and sleep are two things that I never give up during finals. I might cut my workouts short, but I always make sure to do something! Yesterday I did an 8 mile run in preparation for the 10 miler I’m running in 2 weeks. It was SUPER windy out, but I started off my run through the zoo to make things more interesting!

The zoo is really close to where I live, so I’ve actually been there quite a few times. I like to just walk or run through when I get a chance because I find it so relaxing! Every time that I go there is never a polar bear in the polar bear exhibit. Honestly, I didn’t believe that it existed. I thought maybe they used to have one, but just never changed the signs.

Well guess what I saw yesterday?!

THE POLAR BEAR!!! It exists!!!!

photo 1 (4)

He was up on the rocks when I saw him, and then he started swimming! He dove down underneath the water quite a bit, it was so cool!

photo 2 (5)

Yea, I run with the polar bears!!!

photo 3 (3)

The zoo actually ended up being very distracting… Because it had rained all night and the weather was so nice, all the animals were out. I mean ALL of them! I saw all the big cats, bears, zebras, llamas, etc! You name it, I saw it! But I only stopped to take a picture of the polar bear, gotta keep my priorities straight.

The rest of the run was alright, but I was so sore from my workouts this week! I kept reminding myself: “This is supposed to be hard, if it wasn’t hard then everyone would be doing it!”

I finished the 8 miles in 1:16:38 for an average pace of 9:34 min/mile. I was actually surprised, since I was trying to get a 10:00 min/mile pace, which is the pace I’m supposed to do for my training runs.

photo 4 (4)

To figure out the pace I needed for my training runs, I used this calculator, based on Jack Daniel’s formula. I put in my most recent time for my half marathon, and here are the times it came out with:


I was actually REALLY surprised by these, 10:32 for a long run pace?? I don’t think I’ve ever run that slowly since I started keeping track of pace! I realized the half wasn’t my best race, so then I put in the time for my other most recent race, the 10 miler I did in November and that time it cut off about 20 seconds for each pace time. I think that’s a lot closer to what I should be doing, especially since I know I’m capable of running faster!

I guess my biggest issue with these paces that I’m given is that I don’t really understand why? I mean, I know you’re supposed to run slower on long runs. On Hal Higdon’s site he says to run at a pace at which you can keep up a conversation. But this just seems a lot slower than I would have guessed! Definitely something to look in to!


Do you know anything about pacing? Help!

When was the last time you went to the zoo?

33 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2012 7:31 am

    Thanks for the link to that calculator! That’s been very helpful, I think in the past I’ve been running way too fast during my long runs, perhaps that’s why I’ve been getting injured! Love that you were able to see the animals!

  2. April 16, 2012 7:32 am

    I also used the formula to get my training run goals. It totally surprised me too! I’m going to try it out for my next half training and see what happens.

  3. April 16, 2012 7:32 am

    I was just at the zoo last week and I think my favorite was the red panda (looks like a raccoon)

    Also, the Calgary zoo has a whole section you can walk through that emulates the habitat for dinosaurs, with random fake models of each extinct creature. Might just be me, but I thought zoos were for alive, existing creatures!

  4. April 16, 2012 8:56 am

    That’s so cool that you could run through a zoo!! I wish I had a place remotely interesting to run around here…haha. I have done that calculator before too and it said my easy or long runs should be 11 min/miles I was like ummm, don’t think so!

  5. April 16, 2012 9:23 am

    Ahhh!!!!! How cute is that bear?! Love it! And I love your positive perspective on Mondays 🙂 Hearing everyone whine about it doesn’t really help, ya know?

  6. Justine Duppong permalink
    April 16, 2012 10:02 am

    Ha–I buy my parents an annual zoo pass every Christmas, so as soon as the weather gets a little nicer we go to the zoo almost every week!

  7. April 16, 2012 10:13 am

    I love that you can run through the zoo! Sounds much more fun!

  8. April 16, 2012 10:17 am

    lol the last time I went to the zoo was sometime last year but it was COLD! I never thought of jogging through the zoo. But that sounds like an awesome idea!

  9. April 16, 2012 10:30 am

    Everything I’ve read and everyone I’ve talked to says you should run your long runs at least a minute slower than your goal pace. Why? It keeps your body from getting too beat up and gives you more time on your feet. That way when you go to race your body is fresh and the distance feels shorter since you’re finishing faster than you do your long runs. Doing speedwork and tempo runs during the week is where you work on your speed and your goal pace. Or you can add a few goal pace miles into your long runs. You just can’t “race” your long runs every week. That’s one of the things that leads to burn out!

    As for the zoo, I was just at the Lincoln Park Zoo two weekends ago. I could have watched the polar bear all day. He was totally showing off for the crowd.

    • April 16, 2012 10:47 am

      haha I love that he was showing off! And I get that you run your training runs slower, but it’s telling me to run 10:30, but what if my goal pace is 8:30? Should I ignore it and run 9:30-45?

  10. Lauren permalink
    April 16, 2012 10:57 am

    This is so timely for me since I decided to follow a Jack Daniels plan following the Chi Town race. I’m doing Ravenswood 5k at the end of the month so I am using a Daniels plan that is geared toward 5k/10 races.

    My fiance has been using Daniels for the past 6 months or so and likes the plans. He has this book (
    and it really explains the science behind the pace calculations. Like you, I put in a recent race time (I used my Shamrock Shuffle PR from last month) and it gave me an easy pace that seems crazy easy! But the tempo/threshold and the interval paces are def challenging me.The speed days are pretty speedy for me, so I can see why the easy paces are calculated where they are.

    • April 16, 2012 11:22 am

      I should try out the plans, and look into the book! Thank you for the info!

      • Lauren permalink
        April 16, 2012 11:48 am

        Yeah, I think you’d enjoy the book. There’s so much info in there and all kinds of plans.

        With the paces, the idea is that you really want to train based on a recent performance. Not the pace that you want to race in the future. I think it does make sense, even if at first you’re like “whoa that is way too slow” haha.

  11. Sienna permalink
    April 16, 2012 11:32 am

    There have been a lot of articles in Runner’s World recently about running your long runs much slower than you think. Here’s a link to one:,7120,s6-238-267–14201-1-1-2,00.html

    I have used their SmartCoach for training plans which Tina from Carrots N Cake recommended and was suprised how slow it wanted me to run. If you put in a race time with a pace of 9:30 and a three month plan it only has you increasing your race pace by a few seconds. So perhaps it is a little more realistic than we are with increasing our pace? I’ve tweaked it a little by pretending I ran faster than I did and figure if I can still handle the tempo runs I should be fine.

    • April 16, 2012 12:50 pm

      Thanks for the link! I used runners world too, although that told me 10:06 rather than 10:30.

  12. April 16, 2012 2:09 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog but I’ve been reading it daily for a while – not sure why I never comment! I am so jealous – that would be so fun to run through a zoo – it would make the time go by so much faster!

  13. April 16, 2012 2:16 pm

    Aww what a cutie! That’d be such a fun race/route!

  14. April 16, 2012 3:17 pm

    What a fun run! And nice job on the quicker pace than you thought–sometimes we surprise ourselves when we don’t ‘force’ it, ya know?!

  15. fitphilanthropist permalink
    April 16, 2012 4:14 pm

    1) I can’t say I’ve ever read up on pacing, but my paces are fast 🙂 (see I’ve never heard about having slower/faster-paced runs each week. For me, I’ve always just tried to keep at a certain per mile while running any run, and then I try to up my speed in the last half mile of the run. During training for my last half marathon (the same training I’m doing for this one) I went from a 9:30 pace to a 8:08 pace in nine weeks, and I honestly think a lot of it had to do with my continual, though gradual, push to lower my pace each run. I could be way off base here, though.

    2) I went to the zoo last fall! The KC Zoo is doing fabulous right now and it’s Chimp and Polar Bear exhibits have won (inter)national awards! It’s a great time to be a Friend of the KC Zoo 🙂

    • April 17, 2012 8:57 am

      Ahhhh I need to go to the KC zoo! When I come home in May? Yes? Okay. We used to be friends of the zoo because my mom was on the board, but we aren’t anymore… annoying.

  16. April 17, 2012 1:30 pm

    Sounds like such fun to run though a zoo, the half marathon I usually run used to do that, but now it doesn’t (sniff).

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