Thursday, August 23, 2012

The significance of breaking a 9 minute mile

Cow Harbor aspiration
Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

I had two reactions after I finished today's run. The first was the happy acknowledgement that I'd completed three consective runs under 9:00 a mile (8:55, 8:50,  8:57). Not so hard for many, but a big deal for me. The second reaction related to how hard I'd worked to barely break nine minutes today.

I remember reading a post on the Runner's World Loop a few years ago that defined a "runner" as a person who paced below 9:00/mile. This person declared anyone who ran slower than that to be a "jogger." I rejected that assertion, as did many others through their comments. But since then I've always thought about sub-9:00 runs as a validation of my running fitness. A high percentage of my runs fall into jogger territory, so I feel encouraged with this week's performance.

The reason why I've put more attention toward my speed is that Cow Harbor is weeks away and I want to be prepared to run it competitively. My PR pace for a 10K is 8:48 but that race was run on the flat roads and boardwalk of Long Beach. My hope is to beat my PB for Cow Harbor, which means a pace of 9:12 or better. If it wasn't for the James Street hill, I'd be feeling confident about my chances for doing that. As long as I'm beating 9:00 on my training runs, I know I'll have that possibility.

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