Nik's doing great -- for now, she's been on a "run whatever I feel like running" running plan, which I can totally get behind. She just started a marathon training plan and is trying out some new options for fueling on the go. I'm planning on writing more about that soon.
As for me, I ran today. It was a speedwork day, and after looking through my running logs for a while, checking the old splits, I realized today I ran my fastest mile yet at 10:39.
Go ahead -- sneer if you must! That's fast for me! I'm a big guy still! Plus I'm lazy! Really lazy! And it was hot out, too.
Since the last half-marathon I ran in early May, I've been fed up with running longer distances in half-marathon training. It's not the distance that gets to me -- it's how damn long it takes. My usual pace had been nestled comfortably in the bosom of mid-12-minute-miles for a while. I can log decent mileage at that speed, but I spend what seems like the best part of a day out there once you factor in all the prep, the running itself, the logging, and the post-run staring-into-space.
When I come home after an extra long day at the office, the weather sucks, I haven't eaten in hours, and I know I've got a 7-miler ahead of me that will take me just under an hour and a half, it's a pain in the ass -- I can kiss every free minute left in the day goodbye. I'm a man with many interests that need attention! My Facebook restaurant can't run itself, pal.
After the NJ half, Nik and I decided I wouldn't run any more half-marathons this year. I've proven I can be out there in motion for almost 3 hours, or in the case of the New Jersey half, 3 hours. Instead, I've come up with a schedule of much shorter races to see me through the end of the year -- a bunch of 5Ks, at least one 8K, a 5-miler, and a 10K or two. I even bought myself a copy of Pete Pfitzinger's "Road Racing for Serious Runners" and used it to build myself a nice 5K plan with lots of speedwork built in. Yes, I read a running book. I'm not all the way through it yet, so don't quiz me. I'm getting there, I'm getting there. What, you want a book report? I'm not on trial here!
Go here to see the details of my 5K plan. It's 12 weeks long and takes you up to 21 miles a week.
I'm 4 weeks in, as of this writing. Has it been working? As I said before, I ran my fastest mile ever and didn't even notice it until later. The other week I ran a 5K road race in Berkley (a few towns over) and got a PR -- 33:24, so a 10:44 pace. That's the fastest I've ever run without falling downhill. I'm also now mostly out of the 12s and into the 11 minute-mile range pretty comfortably. With any luck and a little less beer I'm hoping to settle into the 10s somewhere -- anywhere -- this year.
Here's my schedule of races for the rest of the year. These are the ones I've already signed up for, anyway -- there are at least one other 5K, 8K, and 10K nearby I can do, and I may sign up closer to the dates.
- Next Sunday: Day of Portugal 5K, New Bedford: I haven't decided whether or not I'll run this one in my luchador mask. We'll see if (a) it's too hot to run 3 miles in a wrestling mask and (b) if I know anybody running, in which case I'll leave the mask at home, thank you very much. People I know think I'm weird enough as it is...
- July 3: Mattapoisett Road Race, the Poi: I've run this race before. Last time I ran it I was still running in 13-minute-mile territory. We'll see how I do this time. Plus, I'll get to run with John From The Poi, which is always a treat.
- July 4: Harvard Pilgrim 10K, Foxboro: This will be my first 10K race in over a year. I've run easily faster than my 10K race PR in training, so I'm hoping I can do that again. It should be a great race -- you end up in the endzone at Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots play. I hate football, but what the hell.
- Oct. 9: ING Hartford 5K, Hartford: It's not the prettiest course, but it allows me an opportunity to try for a course PR. I ran this in 2009 and did pretty well -- we'll see how far I've come in a year.
- Nov. 20: Rothman Institute 8K, Philadelphia: I've never run an 8K race before. It's practically 5 miles, but not quite. Isn't that interesting? It isn't? I'm going anyway. I've made a personal time goal for this race: 54:40. That's just under an 11-minute mile. My goals are modest. It's 54:40 or fight! Reacquaint yourself with American history if that doesn't ring a bell. Gordon will get it...