I’ve gotten this far, can’t stop now. The 2013 goal is not to just run a marathon, but to run one in less than 4 hours. Based on the only experience that I’ve had at this distance, I’m 8 minutes too slow. The new focus will be on strength and speed training. The 9 min/mile pace has to dissappear for good, only 8s and 7s are acceptable now; the bar has been raised. Up until now, 7s have been quite rare so there is alot of work to do.
Speed, The Next Frontier
After the unofficial NYC marathon run on the eventful Sunday November 4, I intended to take a week off. But my legs were just fine after 72 hours of rest and they were somehow itching for a run again. Thursday came, and off I went on a short neighborhood run to test out the post-marathon legs. With speed on my mind, I ran at “huff-n-puff” pace. Back on my block after 31:23 minutes, I check my performance, OH MY GOD. 4.24 miles @ 7:24 pace! This was the fastest average pace for a 30 minute run in my running history, and then I checked the mile splits. I BROKE 7! Mile 3 was 6:56, that is out of this world; insane. Did I just run a mile in less than 7 minutes? It occured to me that I should start racing 5k and 10k races to put the speed to the test. I signed up for the Flushing Meadows 5K race (November 17).
November 12th was Veteran’s day, great day for a morning 13.1 mile run. Again, with speed on my mind, I attempt my fastest half marathon, and success. 1:52:01 @ 8:32 pace. 4 of those miles were 7 paced, YES. How long can I keep this up? 3 days later, I run for 6 miles but didn’t break 8 pace once, how dissapointing (I’ve spoiled myself, meh).
My First 5K Race Ever
Race day arrives, only 187 people on a 40 degree morning. As soon as the runners lined up … “On your mark, GO”! Whoa, is everybody sprinting? Am I sprinting too? I’m going all out, breathing hard, not thinking about pacing myself or how I’ll feel at mile 12, this is a freakin race. My heart started to beat hard, damn, I had to slow down a tad to avoid a heart attack. Half a dozen runners pass me at mile 2 but no more after that, grrr. It was all done in 23:23 @ 7:32 pace. Although I came in 37th place (top 20%), I knew deep down that this could be improved upon.
The Thanksgiving Long Run to Burn 2012 Calories
After another 5.87 mile session @ 8:21 pace, I made plans to burn 2012 calories on Thanksgiving day morning. 2000 calories is like 2/3 of a marathon journey by the way. I always thought runners were on crack for wearing shorts on 40 degree days, I thought it would be a good idea to try it out for once. My legs were freezing but fine after a half hour. Once again, the lone wolf went out on his journey through the various neighborhoods, bike lines, parks, and roads while avoiding cars, dogs, large branches, and kids who wander aimlessly in front of me. Although I didn’t break 8 pace once, I maintained 8:30-ish pace until mile 13. For some reason, my body always deteriorates by this point, it sucks. This is when the 9 and 10 paces start slipping out due to either a 30 minute walk break or a drastic slow down. Its the lack of glycogen most likely; more carbo loading and hydration is key or just more long run sessions. The results are in with exactly 2012 calories burned (according to my app): 17.86 miles in 2:39:44 @ 8:56 pace. The threshold pace for a 4 hour marathon is 9:09, and 8:56 is too damn close. Well, there is a whole year to work on this.
Now for a well deserved Thanksgiving Feast.