The first one was yesterday and was around 4km...a distance that is pretty average for me. I usually run a 5 km loop near my house, so it wasn't super challenging. However, I learned that I have been running too fast...way too fast! Apparently all those breathing problems I was having on my runs were because I was just burning myself out. I would often feel like my chest was on fire and that I couldn't catch my breath. Never having had asthma, I didn't know if that could be it. I also thought it might be allergies since we are in the season. The instructor told us that if you can't carry a conversation, you're going too fast. Something I had never thought about before. It was surprisingly a lot more challenging mentally to go slower. I'm used to pushing myself because I like the feeling of going fast. I guess in my mind, if I'm not going fast, I'm not working hard enough. However, that's not the goal of running a half marathon. The goal is to run continuously for 21.1 km and if you burn yourself out during the first five, you can kiss that goal goodbye!
The second one was today. It was a small 'race' I guess you could call it and was around 5 km. Again, I found pacing myself difficult. Mentally I mean. My mind wanted me to go faster, but I kept getting way too out of breath. Since I'm still a little fuzzy on the running lingo, I think this is what they call a 'tempo run', which (correct me if I'm wrong) I believe means you're supposed to run at race tempo the whole time to get your body used to the pace. Overall, it was a good run.