Wednesday, September 14, 2011


It's been a long week. I know it's only Tuesday (well, Wednesday morning now technically), but it's been a long week. Despite feeling like crap for most of the day and despite -- but also because of -- a very stressful two days of work, I had the great idea of trying to get my Tuesday four miler -- just like Hal Higdon wants -- in at 11:00pm. My resolve wavered as I got ready...I just didn't feel up to it. But I decided I'd feel better about myself if I at least tried. Turned out to be a great idea.

Since it was shorter than my usual distance, I set out without my hydration belt. No water, orange Gatorade, or Sports Beans. I also decided I was going to run it as fast as I could.

It turned out to be 4 miles in 35:22, an 8:50/mile pace. Not as low as I'd like to be for a 5K, but considerably better than the last time I recall going out with the goal of running 4 and keeping my pace under 9:00, which was a lunchtime run back in January, before my IT band trouble.

More importantly, though, this was fun. It was nice to have a run that was over in under 40 minutes, rather than over an hour and a half. It was enjoyable to just turn my brain off and focus on running as fast as I could, rather than worrying about pacing myself for the long haul. It was a throwback to the summer of 2008, when all I did was two laps around Cousler Park several times a week and try to break my personal records.

I've longer distances than I ever thought I'd attempt back then; I'm proud of that and have no plans stop running longer races, but I do think that summer was when running was the most purely fun.

Every week in my marathon training, I've got runs on Tuesday and Thursday that don't ever get longer than 5 miles. I admit, I really don't care that much about how fast I run the marathon. I think just by getting in more 20-milers in training I'll be better conditioned and between that and smarter pacing early in the race, I can shave off a decent amount of time. I'm not that worried about tempo runs or speedwork (Novice 2 doesn't have speedwork, anyway). But I think I'll take one of those short runs every week and just go as fast as I can.


  1. Love this attitude, Brian! I think any marathon plan can get really stale and quickly monotonous when we do the same thing day in and out...the miles become lonely and the mind tends to start playing with our heads. So if you trick it and say, HA head, I'm doing speedwork, something that I loved a few years ago, then everything else sort of just feels good again!! At least, I hope so ;). Nice sub-9...I'd probably let someone else own my first born right now if I could run a sub-9 again. Sub-8 again, they can have all my kids!! :)

  2. Thanks Jill! I'm happy w/a sub-9 at this distance. I've been a sub-8 only twice, both at 5K distances. I'd love to come in under 23:00 at a 5K, and it's one of my goals, but I think for me that's something I have to focus on in a season when I'm not marathon training. :-)

  3. Sub-9:00? Slacker! ROFLOL! Glad the run went so well!