Running Long

just-me-the-road-etsyYes, it’s that time of the week – time for my weekly running post.  This has been a good week on the running front, especially considering it is the end of December.  We had a cold December, which means that I have already done my share of cold-weather running.  I was hoping that I didn’t have to go out early this morning, but things needed to be done this afternoon, so out into the briskness I went.  I really think I am getting used to it, because 24 degrees doesn’t feel as cold as it used to.  Today was my scheduled long run and my goal was 9 miles.  In the weeks since Richmond, I have slowly been rebuilding my long run.  One of the reasons I say rebuilding is because I am working on running faster.  Last year’s Park to Park 1/2 marathon was run at about an 8:15 pace.  If I want to beat that, I need to get my long runs to that pace – not the 9:00/miles that I was running for Richmond.  My runs have been fast this week – even in the cold.  Today’s was the slowest of the week, clocking in at an 8:30/mile pace, but that was for 9 miles.  Yesterday I ran a short 3 miles.  The first mile I went out way too fast and sabotaged the rest of the run.  I’ve also been trying to take off the extra pounds from the Christmas feasting, so I think that slowed me down.  All in all, I am very happy with my progress so far.  The Park to Park 1/2 Marathon is sitting about 16 to 17 weeks out and my long run is already 9.5 miles.  Next week, I would like to run for 90 minutes and then for the next several weeks, just try to make that faster.  I am also concentrating on faster, shorter runs.  This week my plan is a 6 miler on Monday, 5 miles on Tuesday, 5 miles Thursday, and then a 90 minute long run on Saturday.  The weekday runs are all scheduled to be fast runs – pushing the 8:00/mile pace.  I need to start getting those under 8 minutes.

Like I said, overall I am very happy with this week’s progress.  I think the interesting thing that happened today was the middle miles.  It was miles 4, 5, and 6 that were just tough – they were the middle miles and sometimes during those miles – it can just get funky – the mind gets muddled – you want to just quit.  But today I persevered through those tough middle miles – even though the last two miles were slower than I wanted – they felt better – yet my legs were starting to feel the longer distances and the fact that I ran 24 miles this week – my longest weekly effort since Richmond.

It’s been good!  Pressing On! 

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