Thursday, June 7, 2012

running goals

So, what running escapades have you missed out on by me not blogging for months?  Well, in early April I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC.  M and I trained for this somewhat - but definitely not to the extent that we could have.  I still felt pretty good about my chances are PRing, since last year my average pace was right around 12:00 min/mile.  For the majority of the race, I tried to just have fun and enjoy the company of the friends I was running with.  I ended up finishing in about 1:41:47, a 20 minute PR and about an 10:11 pace.  Pretty good considering we hadn't trained super hard.

After the 10 miler, somehow, the months of April and May just escaped me.  I meant to run, but the app I use on facebook to track my runs tells me that I only ran about 4 times in those two months.  Eeek!  I'm going to pretend that's not accurate and that I forgot to log some runs.  That might be true... but I still definitely ran less than 10 times in those two months.

Anyway, about two weeks ago I got excited about finding a fall half marathon to run.  If you recall, my previous half marathon time was 2:13:14.  We trained really well for that race, but we didn't do any speedwork at all.  So, I know I'm totally capable of running a half much faster than that.  If I do a 12 week training program for the half, that won't start until mid August, so I figured I should make some good running/fitness goals for the summer.

Living in the south in the summer can be brutal for running.  Although we (fingers crossed) are having a mild summer so far, I'm not sure it will last... so I didn't want to plan to be logging super long runs.  This led me to decide that improving my 5k time would be a great summer goal.  But what was a good 5k goal?  I figured there are two ways to approach this:

(1) Time my current 5k, and then set a goal based on how much I think I can improve in the summer
(2) Figure out how fast I need to run a 5k in order to have the half marathon PR that I desire.

Now, I have a pretty lofty goal in mind for PRing in a half.  There is a very good chance that I'm being unrealistic about being able to reach this goal for a November half.  But... the only way to know is to try, right?  So I used the McMillian website to figure out what my "equivalent pace" for a 5k would be if I were able to run the half as quickly as I'd like.  My (possibly backwards) logic concluded that if I can run a 5k at that equivalent pace by late August, I should be able to train my way into the PR I have my eyes on.  Makes sense, right?

So, on Saturday M and I ran a 5k to the best of our ability.  Remember I had not run more than 2 miles in about 6 weeks... so, this wasn't pretty.  We managed to finish in 31:19.  Not terrible, but definitely not fast.  As in, if I want to achieve goal #2, I have to shave more than 5 minutes off my 5k time.

I'm not at all convinced that this is feasible, but M and I improved SO MUCH when we did speedwork after the half in preparation for the 15k, and it totally paid off.  So I figure, it's at least worth a try.  Thus, my summer running goal is to get as close to a 26:00 minute 5k as possible.  How do I plan to do this?  Stay tuned for a post next week about my weekly workout schedule :-)

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