Aiming for an 8 minute mile, and its unexpected benefits…
For the past few weeks I’ve grown very comfortable with the idea of averaging 10 min/mile on my runs. It seemed like a nice round number and fit easily into my calculations: 30 minutes for a 3 mile run, 40 minutes for a 4 mile run, etc.
Even though I’ll be running my half-marathon with a friend, we’ve been training in different parts of the country (I’m up in Northern California and she’s in LA), so we aren’t quite able to run together. I was so proud of myself with my 10 min/mi pace, until I learned that she’s been running 8 MINUTE MILES.
Uh oh, I thought. Am I horribly off track with my training? I’m struggling with the 10 min/mi pace as it is!
The good thing is, the half-marathon I’m registered for doesn’t have an end time (I know – it sounds wimpy, but I wanted a super low-pressure race for my first one). So theoretically, I could take as much time as I needed…but…it also doesn’t hurt to ramp up my pace during training, does it? Or at least dedicate one day a week to really pushing myself?
So when I woke up this morning, I told myself I would only do 2 miles, but I would finish in under 16 minutes. Well…the two mile thing happened, but the 16 minutes? More like 17:30. Oh well, that is much better that the typical 20 minutes it would take me. Of course, I did feel like I was killing myself there at the end to beat the clock…I even started to feel a little sick.
Even though I fell short of my goal, it wasn’t entirely in vain. The context: my run this morning took place on a 1 mile loop around a lake. I kept passing a really cute guy at the start of the trail and at the half-way point (we were running in opposite directions). After we had passed each other four times, he stopped me and said, “Hey, we’re running at like, the exact same pace! We should just run together,” as he motioned for me to join him on another lap. In part because I was about to pass out after killing myself to keep that pace, and in part because I was a red-faced, sweaty mess, I declined. But who knows? What better motivation to wake up and run in the morning than the prospect of meeting a cute running partner?