Saturday, January 2, 2010

What I Really Need Is an Open Road...

And a whole lot of speed. Ahh, Montgomery Gentry. I LOVE Country Music!!! I blame my parents and the fact that I grew up in Richmond, VA where everyone’s necks tend to be a little redder than up here in NOVA. I don’t really run to that much country music. BUT, I think I need to add this song to my iTunes. In my mind, it’s running related.
So what is this post really about? Let’s talk about the times I’ve hit thus far in my life…

3 miles: 25:49

10k: 1:02:53

10 miles: 1:44:01

Half Marathon: 2:25:45

If you want the details, read on:

Although, this isn’t going to be chronological, I will go in ascending distance order.

3 miles:

I started running senior year of high school. I did a few 5ks in college. They were on campus, so my finishing times were never officially documented. I know one was definitely under 30 minutes. I wasn’t planning on getting as hard core about I [sort of] I didn’t document on my own.

The fastest I’ve ever run 3 miles was on the treadmill a few months ago in 25:49. I was trying to impress a guy. He had to stop because his calves were tight. I out ran him and his legs are a lot longer than mine. So that was kind of cool.

Goal: I’m not a sprinter. The splits for my treadmill time work out to 8:36. If I could do that in an official race, that would be great. I think I had a ton of energy and determination that day. Note to self: Run a 5k with a boy.


My very first 10k was the Ashland Railroad Run in 2007. I finished in 1:02:53. Not too shabby for a girl who didn’t run track in high school. That’s the only 10k I’ve ever trained for.

I did the Monument Avenue 10k 6 days after my first half marathon. This was also two days after I got laid off. Roughly 24 hours after a ROUGH night. I’ll summarize with me being at a bar with friends and knocking over some other girl’s empty glass. She gave me a mean look. And then I said “I’m sorry, I was laid off today.” The guy she was with was super understanding and responded, “Ohh, well then you need to knock over a couple more before you leave!” The girl then smiled. 10 months later this still makes me laugh.

Anyway, I didn’t wear a watch or even think about speed in the Monument Avenue 10k. I was more concerned with how many cheers I could get for my Minnesota T-shirt. I think it was around 6. My time for this race is not as good as my first 10k… 1:05:45. But, it is what it is.

Goal: I want to break an hour for a 10k. This would mean the pace I’m running at is slightly under 10 minutes/mile. But, I’d also like to complete a 10k in under 1:02:53. I know I’m capable of this; I just need to sign up for a 10k that is not a recovery run. Wear a watch. And be more focused.

10 miles:

My friend Meghan happened to be training for the Army 10 miler this past fall when I was preparing to run the OBX half marathon. We went on a few long runs together, and I was talked into running 10 miler with her. This was the MOST ENJOYABLE RACE OF MY LIFE. It was the first race I ran with a friend. The DC crowd was GREAT. I was a general goofball, Hi5-ing anyone who cheered for my Minnesota T-shirt and and starting a BonJovi “Whoahh, we’re half way there” sing-a-long at the halfway point. I unexpectedly saw my friend who was volunteering at the mile 8 water station. He gave me my cup of water and a hug. 10 miles is not a joke, but for some reason I barely remember being tired or wanting the race to be over. All I remember thinking that was running related was around the mile 9 point, “I’m glad this isn’t a half marathon.” So I guess I was ready to be done or not feeling quite ready for an additional four miles. Meghan and I sprinted to the finish in 1:53:02. I wasn’t even that sore from that race. I’ve decided 10 miles must be my favorite distance. A lot happens between 10 and 13.

I independently completed 10 miles in 1:44:01 on the treadmill a few weeks before the OBX half. Which works out to a pace of 10:24ish per mile.

Goal: 1:40:00 I want to be able to run 10 miles at a 10 min/mile pace. Or maybe slightly under that. I don’t know when that will happen. But that’s my ultimate goal. And 10 milers are hard to find. So this may only be on the treadmill.

13.1 miles aka. The Half Marathon

Oh hey, Half Marathon. You are the distance I need to get serious about. Somewhere between 10 miles and 13.1 miles my endurance starts sucking. I didn’t walk/pause (except briefly at the water station) at either of the half marathons I ran. But my times aren’t really that different from each other.

Yeungling Shamrock Half Marathon 2009: 2:27:15

OBX Half Marathon 2009: 2:25:55 (1st half 10:42/mi pace…2nd half: 11:09/mi pace).

It’s worth nothing that the OBX half has a 4% incline hill between miles 9 and 11. I didn’t walk. A LOT of people did though. So many that I was getting frustrated having to run around them and jealous that they were more comfortable than me in that moment. I think if I had run the Shamrock again… I would have gotten a slightly faster time than 2:25:55 since that course is described as “fast and flat.”

Something else that could be to blame is that I only did 10 miles to prepare each time. Granted, I did three 10 mile runs before each race day. But 10 doesn’t equal 13. It’s more of a “Yay, I can be lazy because Hal Higdon says I’m ready being about to run 10 miles.”

So, Goal: Break 2:25:55. Maybe even break 2:20:00.

When I saw that I could run 10 miles in 1:44:01 on the treadmill I was really hoping to finish the OBX half closer to 2:15:00.

*This is a goal for 2010. This is NOT my goal for the upcoming Shamrock Half Marathon. The 2010 Shamrock is all about being by the side of my friend Meghan as she completes her first 13.1. If her pace happens to be faster than 2:25:55 (great), but breaking this time is not even a slight goal. Running the whole thing is.

The real question is what other Half Marathon(s) I’m going to run this year.

The VA Beach Rock n’ Roll (Sept) and Richmond McDonald’s [Loveee the Irony of that sponsor] Half Marathon (Nov) are both thoughts. But, do I want to do one closer to the Shamrock? Doing a 10 miler and Half a month apart from each other last fall was a perfect combo. I think it’s too early into my training to decide. I’m going on a 7 mile run tomorrow. Hopefully!

26.2 miles…aka: A Full-Fledged OhShitWhatHaveIGottenMyself Into Marathon

Bahaha. I just thought I’d type that to see what it looks like. I’m not sure if I’ll ever decide to do one of these. For enough reasons that this post will get entirely too long. My dad told me I shouldn’t even think about a full until a half marathon is an “easy’ distance for me and I’m running them faster than I am currently. I agree with both of his thoughts. So, let’s see if I can get faster and more used to 13.1 in 2010. The nice thing is now that I’ve done two, I’m mentally in a totally different spot.


WannabeRunner said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, excited to start reading your posts! :)

And i think a full marathon is an excellent goal to work towards - sounds like you are getting some 1/2s under your belt, so i bet you will be ready sooner than you thin!

Adam said...

Great summary.

Ashland VA!! If you are interested, check out the "running in the center of the universe" podcast. Ashland Dave (the author) is one of the race directors for that railroad 10k. In fact, he is in charge of changing the course for this year's run.

If you stick to it, a 2.20 1/2 is totally doable.