Today was day #4 on the half-marathon training program and it was definitely the hardest. The previous 3 days, I was having difficulty slowing down the pace enough -- the point being, I suppose, to get in a good workout without trashing muscles and lungs in order to get in a hard workout mid-week and a long run on the weekend.
Anyway, since I've been unwilling to fork over the money for a Garmin Forerunner or a Polar watch, the only way I have to judge the time is to know where my mile (or fraction of a mile) spots are and to check my watch at those points. In order to keep from focusing too much on time, I've chosen to check my watch at each mile. The downside is that I only know my pace after each mile and then make a subjective adjustment for the next mile.
Today, though, the goal was a tempo (supposed to be comfortably difficult) run. That included a 1 mile warm-up, a 1 mile cool-down (both defined as easy or 8:58 minutes per mile) with 3 miles in the middle at a pace of 7:30 minutes per mile. I did OK on the first mile at about 9:15 mpm. The second mile went fine at 7:31. The third mile was a bit slower at 7:38. But the fourth mile was a killer -- I really pushed but could only manage 7:46. Then the final mile was 8:56. The problem was that I was dog tired at the end of 5.1 miles.
I'm trusting Runner's World on this training plan. But, is it going to get me to my goal? I'll know at the end of September.
BTW, I'm ready for winter to come back. This business of 70°+ and 85%+ humidity at 5:30 AM is for the birds! The spot where I stretch at the end of my run always looks like a swimming hole when I finish from all the sweat that pours off me. Yeah, I know -- GROSS! Give me 45° and 60% humidity any day.
Run well y'all,