My midweek mid-distance runs alternate between tempo pace (searching for sub-8:00 miles) and race pace (around 9:00 per mile). These paced runs and all the hills I've been running are the basis of my speed training for the Akron Marathon.
This morning I rousted my ass out of bed to fit in the miles I meant to run last night. My plan called for five miles at race pace.
Morning runs are not my favorite. My joints feel creaky, and it takes forever to find my rhythm. Effortless is not the word I'd use to describe my stride in the morning, which is a total bummer because "effortless" is my goal (aside from the whole "get super fast" thing).
After a short eternity, I fell into a decent groove. I quickly short-stepped up the Bastard Garman Hill and pushed my pace along the extended home stretch. I was hoping to finish in exactly 45 minutes. It looked like it was going to be close as my watch hit 41 minutes while I still had to loop around the block before I could stop.
I cruised down a short brick road, made a quick dash up to my street to head back toward home. I sprinted up a bunny hill until I could see the bend in the road right before the intersection that marked my endpoint. However, I was too fast.
By the time I stopped my watch, the time had only reached 44:13--about 10 seconds per mile faster than planned.
My goal pace puts me on track for a 3:55-ish marathon, which I feel comfortable trying for considering I shaved more than 15 minutes off my PR last year. However, an 8:50 mile pace puts me close to a 3:50-ish marathon, which was my original goal time when I started running these things in 2007. Is it advisable to shoot for another PR of 15 minutes at the Akron Marathon?