Tuesday, 17 August 2004
Days and days of no writing to speak of. It's partly that I'm working on a document at work, which always makes writing prose at home harder. Mostly, though, I think it's just laziness.
I have been keeping up with the running and bicycling pretty well. In particular, with the speedwork for the running. One day a week I've been doing some kind of fast running.
Saturday, I ran a mile as fast as I could. This is the second time I've done that this year, the previous time was a month ago, when I was at the Bluffton writing workshop.
I've been working up to running 9-minute miles. I see a 9-minute pace as a kind of break point in running speed. It isn't really fast, but it's the start of running fast. At Bluffton, I ran a mile in 9:26, and I ran the first and last quarter mile at a 9-minute pace. It was just in the two middle quarters that I ran slower.
I was pretty sure I'd be able to run a 9-minute mile. I'd been working on speed, both running and bicycling. I didn't really have a plan, I was just going to run as fast as I could right from the start.
So, I headed out after breakfast, jogging slowly as far as the local high school (about a mile), found an open gate and got onto their track. The weather was perfect--about 60 degrees, warm enough that I didn't need to warm up beyond my jog, not so hot that the heat would slow me down. There was almost no wind. There was one other guy on the track, wearing a football jersey, probably a member of the high school team. He let me have the inside track while he trudged around once at a walking pace and then again at a slow jog.
So, I toed up to the line, started my watch, and took off running as fast as I could. And I clobbered 9-minutes! I ran a mile in 8:34! I did the first quarter at a sub-8-minute pace!
I did a timed one-mile run on a track twice last year, too. Here's the results for each of such run so far:
The Allerton Park Trail Race is October 31st this year. I'm planning to run it again. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to run it faster than last year. That's one of the good things about running--you can keep getting better for a long time.
That's true of writing as well. Probably more true. Just not quite so easy to measure.