I've been thinking about my running this year. Even though I haven't competed in a race since last December. I'm not missing racing. However, I do miss the discipline that comes with race training. As a result, my longest run this year has measured only 6.5 miles. When I was training for 10Ks and half marathons, my typical Sunday run would extend seven or more miles and go as long as 12. I'm not ready to commit to a half, but if I train like I'm going to run one, I may feel differently.
SIOR suggested a program called "Run Less, Run Faster" that is geared to people like me who have limited time to train during the week. I'm going to look into that plan, but I suspect it will expect me to run lots of intervals and hills. I did run some hills today and did fine with them. Intervals are okay, but I only enjoy them once I've finished.
My goal is to exceed my personal distance best (13.1 miles) that I've done on my half marathons. Technically, I would beat my personal best by running 13.11 miles, but my target is 14. People who run marathons may look at 14 miles merely as a stop along the way to 26.2. But every time I've finished a Half, I know I wouldn't have been able to run that additional tenth of a mile.
I kicked off my long distance training this morning at Bethpage with a 6 mile run along the bike trail. I naively drove to the park thinking that they were no longer charging admission to the lot. I don't begrudge the fee, but I didn't have any cash so I turned around. My friend who mans the booth would probably have let me in, especially since I wasn't with his sworn enemy SIOR.
I ended up parking on Runsketeer Road and ran south on the trail. I turned around at the point where the bike trail intersects with the main driveway into the park. I had already taken on the short but steep hill south of Haypath and was soon running up the big hill in the park. The crisp fall air, bright foliage and crunchy leaves on the trail made the climb tolerable. The bike trail is rolling, but that hill was the biggest challenge of the run.
I'd targeted 6 miles today, but I could have gone on a lot longer. I decided to stick with the plan and noted my distance as I passed my starting point. I did the math to determine how much farther I'd need to run before turning back. I ended up covering a little more than six miles.
If my schedule cooperates, I'll go for seven miles next weekend. Perhaps the Runsketeers will join me and show me how it's done.