I promised myself today not to exhaust myself trying to set records and then being blasted for work the rest of the afternoon. However, I did want to test the hypothesis that high cadence (above 25/10 seconds or 150/minute) is the most important factor to improve times. And I wanted not to be lazy, but do the Olympia Av route with its big uphill.
I set the high cadence when I turned from the CUE driveway onto Stadium way. I clocked myself at 27/10 (162!). I turned the corner at Nevada, and apparently failed to click the lap timer. On the uphill, I used very short steps but tried to keep up the cadence; however, by half-way up I was struggling aerobically and knew my no-being-blasted goal was in danger. So I dropped the cadence to 20 (120) and lengthened my stride somewhat. I still had a PB improvement of 6 seconds at Global Animal Health.
Once on the flat by GAH I upped the cadence to 24 (144), still trying not to overdo. My time to Observation Dr. was comparable to other good times. I tried to keep it at 24 or 25 all the way back, which worked surprisingly well (though not perfectly). I discovered that I could control some tiredness symptoms like wobbling by engaging core muscles, My time on the back run was 8:26, one second off PB.
Overall the time was 23:55, a PB improvement of 16 seconds, or 1%. Obviously, aerobic capacity is still limiting. I wonder what time I could accomplish if I could keep the cadence up above 25 all the way around.
It seems that I rely on the racing-against-myself aspect to keep myself engaged in the work. It tends to result in too much tiredness at work, but I'll put up with it for the time being because it puts the "work" in my walking workout.