Will run (faster) for cookies

You may have observed that I’m kind of a planner. I work out race day playlists and stalk weather forecasts in advance, I get to the expo early (what if they run out?!), figure out my wardrobe the day several days before, and at some point when the race starts to get close, I work out my strategy to achieve whatever goal I’ve set for myself.

So with 3M three-ish weeks away, I’m starting to think about the details. Yeah, I have the Rogue 10K ten days from now, but I’m treating that as more of a tune-up for 3M than as a goal race itself. See, at last year’s 3M, I missed my goal time by four minutes, and it’s been hanging over my head for eleven months. I tried to vanquish it in Cleveland, but my nagging injuries got in the way. Since September, I’ve been training hard, my average pace has dropped, and I’ve set new PRs at the 5K and 10-mile distance, so I am optimistic. But I’ve dumped all my eggs in this proverbial basket, so I’m kind of becoming a basketcase.

I go to training on Tuesdays, but with Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve both falling on Tuesdays this year, training is canceled. That means I’m left to my own devices, which allows my hyper-planning mode to kick into high gear.

So what does that look like?

I have an iPhone app called Race Pace in which I can enter my goal time for any distance and it will tell me what my average pace should be in order to achieve that goal. For the half-marathon distance, it also breaks it down into one-mile, 5K, 10K, and 10-mile splits. So now that I know this magical number, I’ve focused on running faster than that average pace all week.

Monday, Wednesday, and today I achieved that pretty easily, although I only ran three or four miles each time. On Tuesday, I ran 1.25 miles to the track, then did some interval work (ran hard down the straights, rested on the curves) for two miles before running back home. Because of the resting segments, my average pace was wonky, but I can live with that. The tough part will come Saturday when I’m supposed to run 12-14 miles–it looks like the route is going to be a hilly one along a gravel trail. But the 3M course is almost completely downhill, so if I can even sniff at that average pace on a more difficult route, I will be satisfied.

So yeah, even with the holiday I’ve gone running every day. But I’ll be honest–part of it was training, and part of it was cookie-related.

Tomorrow is a scheduled rest day, although I may go to the YMCA and use the elliptical or swim some laps. Or I may sit here on the couch with a fire in the fireplace, catching up on Netflix. Kind of depends on the cookie situation.

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