Last May, I started moving away from 5ks and into slightly longer runs. I started with a 6k, then a 10k, then a 5-miler (which is 8k), then -- deep breath -- an 8 mile run. It feels really good to be stretching my runs out. I am currently working on a 12-week half-marathon training schedule, but since the halfs I want to run are in March and April 2014, I'm extending the schedule a bit. Instead of increasing one mile during the weekly long run, I'm just increasing a half mile; the other two runs per week are a 3-mile easy run, and a 4-mile run/4 mile run with hill training. There's an extra 3-mile easy run listed, but I am likely not going to run 4x a week.
I can't believe that I have stuck with this! I started "jog-walking" back in August 2011. My 5k time was 44 minutes. Now it's about 32. The winners in my age group tend to come in around 25, but to be honest, I'm only competing against myself, and right now, I'm more interested in distance than speed. And now that the weather is cooler, I can run a lot further.
I ran two races in September; the Navy-Air Force 5-miler (with half marathon), and an eight mile relay, which was half of the Howard County Striders Metric Marathon. The Navy 5-Miler required getting up extra early to drive from Baltimore to the nearest DC Metro Station, which was about a half hour. Then another half hour on the train. If you had told me two years ago that I would be willing to get up at 0500 on a Saturday morning ... to travel an hour to run 5 miles ... I wouldn't have believed it.
Navy 5-Miler (Washington, DC, Potomac Park) 14 September. I loved this run! I'm the one with my arms up, in a pink skirt, just about to enter the crosswalk. My friend Laura lives in DC and skateboarded over to take my picture along the route and cheer me on. Thanks, Laura!
This was an awesome run. It was flat and fast, and I kept a good pace throughout the race. If I remember correctly, I stayed under 11 minutes for the whole five miles, and for me, that's downright speedy.
Howard County Striders Metric Marathon and Relay, 21 September, Columbia, MD
Slick and I signed up for this relay back in July, I think ... and then Slick hurt her knee. The week before the run. Oh noes! I was panicky, she was bummed out, but the race master assured me we could transfer the registration to someone else. Okay -- great! Who do we know that is willing to run 8 miles early on a Saturday? With two days' notice?
Fortunately, our third friend Melissa knows half the people in the state of Maryland and about a quarter of the population of the East Coast. She immediately found someone who was willing to do it, but wasn't too sure she could manage 8 miles on such short notice (two days!), Stacy Y. Slick asked Stacy Wednesday night; Thursday, Stacy went out and ran six miles to see if she was in good enough shape, then she called and said she'd do it. YAY!!! Saved the day!
Slick volunteered at the race, and was at the relay station handing out water, Gatorade, and Power Bars. I started out at 0815 with the 11:30 pacers. Columbia is hilly -- the last two miles were uphill, and there was one really gruesome spot that was a very steep grade, uphill, and I could barely walk up it. It was awful. Then approaching the relay point was another uphill, but I found the strength to get the last of that 8.28 miles out and handed the relay tube to Stacy.
I was running. It doesn't look like it, but I was.
So, I don't have any more races planned except a Halloween run. I was hoping to run the Run Geek Run in DC this coming weekend, but I've had an unexpected interruption to my income, so I'm going to have to sit out the races until it gets straightened out. Even though I've moved past the 5ks ... a zombie run sounds *really* fun.