I don’t know what race(s) I’ll be running in this year – my brother and I had planned on participating in the Canton Marathon again (although probably not the full run), but at this point, I’m not entirely convinced there’s going to be a 2013 Canton Marathon – but I do know that I need to get back in a running rhythm again.
When I’m training for a race, it’s not an issue: There’s a schedule. I follow the schedule. The miles add up.
When I’m not training, I find it much harder to put in the miles. My goal for this year is to average at least 7 miles per week during those times when I’m not adhering to a training schedule. If I go out two to three times a week, that’s easy, especially since two miles is my minimum distance. At the same time, if I take six days off in a row, I can still get up and cover my week’s worth of running in one shot. (I’d really like to be up in the 10 miles per week range – and if I wind up training for a race, that won’t be a problem – but until the seasons start delivering me some dawn’s early light, it’s tough getting up for solo runs during the week.)
Having fixed my Garmin Forerunner and gotten my new Ubuntu workstation set up, I’ve installed Turtle Sport to track my efforts. (I love the Garmin for pacing, mapping and number crunching, and I liked Endomondo well enough, but the site doesn’t support Linux hookups.)
Here’s what this morning’s run (For the record: It was overcast – and it actually spit rain for just a minute when I set out – but it was also about 62 degrees. Odd for January, to say the least.) looked like by the numbers:
And here’s how it looks on a distance/pace chart:
I don’t wear a heart rate monitor, so the red numbers are irrelevant. I’m always interested, though, in seeing where I speed up and slow down. (Garmin and Turtle Sport do track altitude as well, and while it’s a generally decent indicator of hills, I removed the line from this chart because it doesn’t seem an entirely trustworthy measurement: The starting and finishing altitudes were significantly different, despite the fact that I ran a loop beginning and ending at my driveway.)
The vertical bar with the arrows is a pretty nifty tool, and corresponds to a Turtle Sport map (not pictured) – as you slide the bar along the distance, a red dot moves along the route, showing where you were at any given point.
I’m not near my racing-calendar pace, but if I can keep these short runs averaging below the nine-minute mark while I get back into shape, I’m generally happy with it, and I know the times will get faster with mileage.
So, here’s the year so far:
Date, time, and distance. Since 7 miles a week comes out to a mile a day, and it’s only January 13, I’m ahead of the curve. For now. There’s plenty of winter ahead to mess that up.