Yesterday was “Health and Safety Day” at work. For the past few years there’s been a 5K out at the JSC fitness center as part of the festivities, so I ran that. It’s an unofficial race, but I didn’t treat it casually.
I started off with a few people from my division who, I should point out, are all FASTER than me. I stuck with them for the first half mile, and even after falling back, I passed the 1 mile marker in 9:33. That quickly came back to haunt me. The weather was great, but once I actually started running it got HOT. I did the next two miles in just over 10 minutes each, and finished in 31:12.
That’s a 10:03 average pace. I could have pushed a bit harder, I think, but definitely could not have gone under 30:00 at that time of day. In the cooler morning temps, 30:00 may have been possible. So overall? Not too shabby, but I need to go faster. In addition to the sub-2:15 half marathon PR I’ll be aiming for at the end of January, I have a secondary goal of setting a new 5K PR sometime this fall or winter. My 5K PR is 29:18, which means I need to average better than 9:26 per mile, so I’ve still got a ways to go.
I did finally find a training plan to work with between now and the end of January: the Ryan Hall training plan from the Runner’s World website. It’s a 10-week plan with all the standard tempo runs, speedwork, and long runs. It also only requires running 4 days per week, which is the primary reason I picked it. One day is always designated as an “off” day, and the other two days are designated as either off days or cross-training days — which I can use for biking and/or swimming as I see fit. I’ve modified it here and there to work with my schedule a little better — mainly shifting the days since I plan to do most of my long runs on Saturdays instead of Sundays, and working in a few area races I want to do.
Because it’s a 10 weeks plan, and there are 16 weeks until the Houston Half on January 30, I’ll be working through the cycle almost two full times. The RunGirl Half Marathon on December 12 falls halfway between now and Houston, so that’ll be a good intermediate point to build to and assess my progress. Goal for RunGirl? Come as close to my 2:15 PR as possible. Goal for Houston? Beat 2:15. Stretch goal for Houston? 2:11, or 10:00/mile average pace.
This Sunday I’m running the USA 10-Miler. I’ve run the relay at this race for the past few years, but haven’t run the full 10-miler itself since 2007. Last weekend I did 9.5 miles at about 11:15 pace, so I know I’m ready for Sunday — and I don’t have a specific goal for this race anyway. I’m just using it as a long run. My “long run” pace is 11:00-12:00/mile, so anywhere in that range will be acceptable.