Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Successful start to Cow Harbor training

Once again, it's about speed
Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

Nothing forces a runner to pay attention to their performance as much as a race. Once the registration is completed, the clock begins its countdown to the starting gun. A good outcome is never assured, but preparation is always key. With a click of the submit button on Active.com, I've once again committed to training for the Great Cow Harbor race.

Every race I run fits within an easy/hard continuum. On the easy end are 5K's that are run fast but over within a short time. The hardest effort I've experienced over the last couple of years has been the half marathon, mostly due to covering so much distance with race pace urgency. In between are runs between 4 and 6.2 miles, some harder than others.

Of these races, Cow Harbor is the biggest event by far. With over 5,000 runners invading Northport, NY, on a Saturday morning, it's a race experience that stands out above all others. The energy of the morning, as runners gather at the Laurel Avenue school, grows by the minute as participants move into their designated wave sections. The chill in the air gives no clue to the scorching heat we'll experience along the course.

This morning's chilly air gave me the spark to start my run fast and keep the pedal down until I'd finished. Everything clicked and, despite my harder than usual effort, I felt completely comfortable pushing my speed. I ended up finishing my run three minutes faster than I did last Friday. It was the first time I broke 9:00 per mile in months and I can't remember the last time I did it at 4:00 AM.

One run doesn't make me ready for Cow Harbor, but I'm happy with my performance on Day One of training. I have three weeks until I taper and rest and I'm hoping to continue to perform like this. Lots to do before September 15th, but I'm off to a good start.

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