I've been running off and on for awhile now. When we had to run in college for our PE class credits, I remember feeling so accomplished after running 1.5 miles. At that point, there was no thought in my mind that I'd ever run any distances of note. In fact, I have a distinctive memory of thinking that Ashley was completely off her rocker when I heard her talking about marathon running at the KD house. Despite the fact that I finally got over my issues and fears with distance running (and I have to say, there's nothing like running a marathon to train your mind that middle distance running is not that bad), I've never really made serious time goals for myself. I've always been content to run 11+ minute miles and be satisfied with that, telling myself that I have a breathing handicap.
I'm not sure if it was our purchase of a Garmin GPS watch or the fact that we've been doing a lot more races this fall or my new co-workers or a perfect storm of all of the above, but for the first time in my life, I've wanted to get faster and actually started taking the necessary steps to make that happen. Everyone says that to run faster you have to practice running faster. I've actually started doing "speed runs" (which my speed run pace would be a joke to most people but I'm trying) and my training plan for the 3M Half in January is to run a longer run each week and a shorter speed run, probably a 5K distance.
When I trained for the marathon, I thought that putting down all of the miles would just automatically make me faster but lots of slow miles means lots of slow miles come race day. I had time goals in mind but I never put in the time and effort to come anywhere near meeting them. This time I'm setting some audacious goals and I'm going to do my best to get there.
5K: under 27:00, previous PR 28:11*
10K: under 58:00, previous PR 1:00:35
Half Marathon: under 2:00, previous PR 2:22:00
I'm sure there will be other distances out there, including the 8 mile run we're doing on Thanksgiving, in which case my goal will be to maintain between a 9:30/9:45 minute mile pace. My goal for the Turkey Trot is 1:15:00, which is pretty daring for me!
*my 5K PR is based on gun time, not my actual chip time. BOO.
My goal is to hit all of those time goals at some point in my 30th year but my target race for the half marathon is next years 13.1 Race in Dallas at the end of October. The 10K PR comes from Saturday's race, which I think might have been my first ever 10K! According to the Garmin, it was a tiny bit longer than 6.2 miles but I underestimated what pace I'd need to maintain. I feel like I left a little bit on the table there so I know what I need to work on for next time. I was under 10 minute miles for all 6, which is a HUGE accomplishment for me but I forgot that .2 miles should theoretically take 2 minutes and I couldn't quite make it to the finish in under an hour, which was my goal.
I also want to be more vocal about my goals and hold myself accountable, which is why I'm posting them here. I'm not totally sure that a sub-2 half is going to be a realistic thing for me but I'm going to work awfully hard to make it happen by next October.