These three-milers are starting to go like clockwork. Last night, I felt strong and pushed the pace. The result was a new fastest run of the year at 9:29 per mile.
Speed is secondary to my goal of just getting back to a regular running schedule, but it's nice to see those little improvements when I stop my watch. It means my legs are getting stronger, my lungs are getting deeper, and my feet are getting quicker.
A sub-9:30 pace isn't exactly warp speed, but it's a start in this year of starting over. January is all about recording baseline metrics, setting the foundation for a solid year of running.
After completing my new favorite neighborhood circuit, I again conducted my new strength workout, which consisted of dumbbell curls, push-ups, crunches, bicycle-kick sit-ups, chair dips, and I added planks in accordance with Jamoosh's Hard Core Club.
One of these days, I need to complete this workout on an off day for running, but it works for now.
Next up this week are three more runs for nine miles, one of which being a trail run. The weather forecast remains positive, although we're expecting some rain and 20-degree dip in temperature later this week. But along with Nitmos, I continue to go pantsless this winter. Thankfully, my ThermaJock will protect my junk from the coming chill.
Akron Marathon Changes
Entering its 10th year, the Akron Marathon has announced some changes to its tough course to make for a faster half marathon and a flatter full marathon, as well as a new website. Looking over the new course, the biggest changes are at Miles 11, 18 and 21.
Where the course descends into the Cuyahoga River valley and enters the Towpath, the new route takes a roundabout way for a more gradual downhill, rather than the previous quad-buster down Howard Street.
In Sand Run, the course will no longer go all the way through the park to Revere Road and will turn earlier at Sand Run Road (from Sand Run Parkway), which includes a much steeper but shorter hill.
And finally, to make up for some lost mileage, the course now makes a short out-and-back on Castle Boulevard before heading toward the Bastard Garman Hill.
I'm least excited about that final change, but I'm mostly curious to see if the changes will really be noticeable. The Akron Marathon still covers some serious elevation.
[Drunkard's note: Post updated at 10:44 a.m. to include marathon news.]