Start time: 12/30/06, 8:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 12 miles
Average pace: 9:15min/mile
My running buddy Craig (whom I trained with in 2005, and who did AIDS Marathon again in 2006) has been working on his new five-year plan to qualify for Boston (which in his 50-54 age-group is a 3:35). He’s been improving by leaps and bounds and I popped him an e-mail to see if he was running this Saturday, since next week he’s got the Disney World Marathon-And-A-Half Goofy Challenge. His response?
Will try to make it at 0800. Supposed to run 12. Will be running without taking a walk break. Will average 9:30-10:00 for 6 then shoot for 9:00 for the last six if I can take it!
Well, I love me a challenge. (Sometimes.) When I run with Pacers for 4-to-5.5 miles it’s without walk breaks, so I figured this shouldn’t be too much harder. And if it was, well, I’d bring my iPod along and prepare to run back the other six miles by myself. So, we met up on Saturday and headed out into a beautifully cool, foggy day. The way out went great; we settled into a groove pretty quickly and knocked out the front six right on schedule (9:50, 9:25, 9:34, 9:52, 9:37, 9:27) with only the Hill of Doom in the fourth mile slowing us down at all.
On the back six, we buckled down and at first said we’d be talking a little less. Well, that didn’t last, we kept talking but aside from the other side of the Hill of Doom (which is pure evil because it’s steep and long on both sides!) we once again stayed pretty true to form (9:01, 8:45, 9:10, 8:48, 8:51, 8:44).
The best thing? Well, aside from it being a really good run and more than doubling the longest distance I’d ever run without any walk breaks, it was knowing that if I’d added in another 8:50min/mile pace for an additional 1.1 miles? That would’ve meant a half marathon finishing time of 2:00:53. My current half marathon PR is a 2:06:08. Barring disaster and keeping my eyes on the prize, this upcoming year I should hopefully get a sub-2 hour half. Fingers crossed!
(Oh, and 2006’s mileage total is 650.75 miles. Nothing like last year’s 732.9, but with a combination of a month off due to injury and no 26-mile long run, I think that’s more than respectable. Bring on 2007!)