Wow, a ton of stuff has happened in the last few weeks since I posted at the end of July.
I ran my 8:00 mile. It was on a treadmill, it was indoors, but it was 7:51. I'll take it because I could have run it faster. In fact, just to prove it I may run a sub-8 mile out here at the park some time in the next few weeks.
The under 2:00 half marathon I was looking at for mid September is likely going to become just another training run because as of right now I'm less concerned with speed and more concerned with distance. Why? Well, that's because...
I just received notice that I was selected in the lottery for the Houston Marathon in January. The goal for January is pretty much 40 miles, because I want the marathon distance to be well below my max extreme. If it's below my max extreme, then running multiple marathons in the same month isn't going to be quite so hard to do. In fact, 26.2 will be a proverbial walk in the park. Target time: 3:59:59.99
That said, my 3 mile runs have become 6 mile runs. My 6 mile runs have become 9 mile runs. And my weekend runs, when I get off my ass to start doing them again, will be 11 to 14 mile runs. For what it's worth, during the month of August 2010 I haven't run anything less than 6 miles at a stretch. Last year during this month I only ran 6 miles once. This is a very, very different year.
Even better, the weather is beginning to break a little. Yes, it's still hot as blazes out there. Yes, the humidity is ridiculous. But it's beginning to break, and break early. Usually we have to wait until mid September for the hottest of the hot days to be behind us, but there have been remarkably few 100 degree days this summer and the pattern appears to be holding. There's still time for that to change, though.
My average mile so far this month is 9:45 over a 6 mile stretch. It'll probably stay there for the remainder of the month while I start trying to stretch the distances out. The next scheduled race is the Houston Half Marathon in October, but I may get a few 5k and 10k runs in during the interim to work on a little bit of speed work.
An interesting thing happens during my 6 mile runs, right around mile 3.5. I smile. Yea, I know. It's weird. It only lasts for about a half mile or so, then the grimacing death mask descends on my face, but that little stretch of the run is actually quite pleasant. Not as pleasant as the nap following the run, but pleasant enough in its own rights.