Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Back on the runner’s path

For the first time since last October, I’m running with a plan.

There’s another Hal Higdon training schedule hanging next to my desk and another date circled on the calendar as I aim for the Akron Half-marathon on September 25.

My brother Adam and are making Akron our once-a-summer race for the second straight year, and while I’ve stepped back in terms of distance – unless there’s a truly irresistible race opportunity next year, the next 26.2-miler I run will probably be the inaugural Canton Marathon in 2012 – I’m going to work on increasing my speed a bit.

I’ve set an 8-minute-mile pace goal, which may be ambitious by my own standards, but I want to have a challenge on my hands. Here’s my thinking: My pace in last year’s Towpath Marathon (my first, remember) averaged to 9:01 per mile. At the other end of the spectrum, when Adam and I were doing our short “speed runs” on 3.65-mile Tuesdays, we topped out at a 7:16 pace. I think the only double-digit-distance run where I came close to the goal I’ve set this summer was a 10-miler I ran during my peak week last year, which I finished with an 8:09 average and a 7:11 final mile. When I made my 12-mile contribution to our Akron Marathon Team Relay last September, I managed an 8:20.

The most direct comparison I could offer, of course, would be the 13.35-miler I did last August 1. Unfortunately, I bumped the stopwatch or something during that run, so the best guess I have on record is that I did it in something just under nine minutes.

Given the time frame, I had to jump right into Week Three of the schedule, and I’ve also had to shift it by a day since the Akron race is on a Saturday as opposed to a traditional Sunday run.

The speed training days, where you run repeated quarter-mile stretches at your pace goal, are new to me, and this schedule also calls for 5 days a week of running instead of four.

I’m enjoying the step back into a running schedule – although my legs were really sore yesterday as I rested from my first three consecutive days of running in I don’t know how long. And when I attempted a 3.15-miler at race pace this morning, I clocked in at an 8:02 average and felt pretty beat afterward, so clearly I’ve got work to do.

And that feels good.

July 23, 2010 Posted by | Ohio, running, Sports | , , , , , | 2 Comments


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