I'm going to let you all in on a big secret: I am a huge nerd. Oh, you already knew that? Okay. Part of my dorktasticness is my LOVE for all things school. I love the back to school time of year. The thought of buying a nice, clean new backpack and loading it up with fancy mechanical pencils, pink pens, and crisp notebooks gets me quite excited. I almost bought a protractor at WalMart today. I just can't stop myself.
Unfortunately, going back to school isn't an option (at least not until I pay off the $60,000 I owe from the first go-round). But I can mimic all the back to school sports that are starting up. The tennis team with their drills, the cheerleaders with their learning how to spell DRAGONS, you get the picture.
I have been running without a plan since May and my big marathon PR. June, well that was a recovery month. July, I went on vacation, focused on golfing and drinking, and barely ran at all. So far in August, I've managed to eek out a 2 second 10K PR and crap out a 10+ minute half-marathon PW. I feel like I need to hit the reset button.
My focus for fall is on shorter races - a 5 miler and fun 5K in October, and two 5K's in November. Last year, I set successive PR's in all of these races without really training or trying to do so. So I started thinking about what I could do if I actually trained for the 5K. I have never specifically trained to get faster in a 5K.
Welcome to the new plan. Speedwork at the track on Mondays. Tempo runs of 5-8 miles on Wednesday nights (well, on Wednesday nights after golf is finished -- only two weeks left). And faster "long" runs on the weekends. Easy runs throw in between. The "long" runs aren't really long at all - 6-9 miles. But I am planning on attempting these at a significantly faster pace than I run true long runs. We'll see how it goes.
If I can improve my 5K and 5 mile times, I will consider the plan a success. An added bonus? I'm hoping that the faster "long" runs will give me a good boost going into marathon training in January. Now I just need to go pack my running clothes into my new backpack . . . some things never change.