Monday, August 03, 2015

Weekly Recap: Week 7 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

I ended the seventh week with 43+ miles, one failed workout and some fatigue. The usual.

Monday: 8 miles w/ three 1-mile repeats under 8:42 (8:22, 8:23, 8:18), Saucony Kinvara 6
Target: 8 miles with three 1-mile repeats at 8:21 to 8:42 pace, 800m recovery jog
With 90+ temps, I again took my speedwork to the treadmill. I think as long as my pace runs are outside, I'm good. My watch and my treadmill disagree on pace, with my watch saying I'm running faster than the treadmill. My treadmill is 15 years old, and it definitely feels like I'm working harder than the pace it shows! Regardless, I hit my paces, and it was hard. I walked a tiny bit after the second and third miles and then finished the recovery jogging along.

Tuesday: 6 miles, 10:55 pace, Brooks PureFlow 2s (and they are DEAD)
Target: 5 or 6, easy
Aaron and I met some friends for this HOT run. I took it easy and felt okay, although it was like 90 degrees.

Wednesday: 7 miles, three miles at 9:12, 9:34, 9:14 so FAIL, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 7 miles with four at 9:09
It was super-hot again, and I should have I altered this workout by shortening it (which I ultimately did), switching it to Thursday or going inside. I hydrated well beforehand, it was just HOT. I warmed up, ran the first two "pace" miles, took an unscheduled quarter-mile recovery jog and then planned to do two more pace miles. After one, I quit and just jogged it in. It just wasn't happening. Longer recap of this run is here.

Thursday: 5 miles, 10:22 pace, Newton Fate
Target: 5 or 6, easy (depends on what I do Tuesday)
I'm really starting to prefer having an easy recovery run after hard workouts (versus a rest day). I was pleasantly surprised (again) at how decent I felt even though I had that difficult run on Wednesday. I think I might keep my speed workouts to Monday and Wednesday.

Note: Thursday's run brought me to 170+ for the month of July -- that's amazing!

Friday: rest

Saturday: 12 miles, 10:39 pace, Saucony Zealots
Target: 12, long
I repeated last week's long run with 8 miles on the towpath and the last 4 on the hill. It went about the same, actually. I felt decent, ran completely up the hill and felt great coming back. I'm really hoping that incorporating the hill onto tired legs will help me gain strength. Hasn't killed me yet!

Sunday: 5.3 miles, 10:52 pace, Saucony Zealots
Target: 5, easy
Blues & Brews was Saturday, so we were a little dehydrated for this run. Plus we didn't start until after noon, and it was HOT. I wanted to do a new route since there's a new bike & hike open near us. The route was great, but not very shaded. I don't think I could have run faster if I'd tried!

Upcoming Week:

  • Monday 8 miles, speed/5x1000s with 600m recovery
  • Tuesday 6 miles, easy
  • Wednesday 8 miles, speed/4 miles at HM pace
  • Thursday 6 miles, easy
  • Friday rest
  • Saturday 10 miles, long
  • Sunday 6 miles, easy

Thursday, July 30, 2015

My First True Workout Fail

This week's pace run was a total fail -- and I could have prevented it.

I had 7 miles on the schedule with 4 miles at half-marathon pace (9:09). I have done this workout twice before, and I have hit the paces. But last night was different because it was still 90 degrees or so when we started running. I was pretty well-hydrated and I had water with me. I warmed up and headed into the pace miles, and immediately I knew it was going to be a struggle (like it's easy any other time!).

Mile 1 clocked in at 9:12. As I started the second mile, I started thinking I should turn around at the 3-mile mark and just do 3 miles at "pace" (I was fine with pace being relative last night). Aaron and our friend were ahead of me, and I was a little worried that they might worry if they didn't see me on the way back. So I trudged on to the turnaround. Mile 2 was 9:34.

At the turnaround I came up with another idea: Do a quarter-mile recovery jog and then do the last two pace miles. After mile 3 (9:14), however, that seemed stupid, so I decided do another quarter-mile recovery jog and THEN do the fourth mile. After that quarter-mile, though, I was DONE. I jogged it in.

On the plus side, 7 miles is still an accomplishment. And in hindsight, I should have altered my plan for last night's run.

Best option: Switch last night's pace run with tonight's easy run because the weather will be cooler tonight. 

Better option: Adjust the pace for the pace miles since it was so hot. There are resources online about how much you should adjust pace based on the heat, but I ignored those. Doing those four miles progressively faster, but starting at, say, 9:30 pace, would have been a better option. (Aha! This calculator at Runner's Connect says I should have done the miles at 9:34 last night. I really should have checked that before going out.)

Okay option: Skip the group run and move the workout to the treadmill. That option SUCKS because that would have been a huge struggle for me.

In the end, one failed workout isn't going to make or break Parkersburg or Columbus. I can still come in under 2 in Columbus and still have a good, confidence-building race in Parkersburg. I am not beating myself up about it, and I am resisting the urge to try again tonight. I have another pace run next week (5 miles at pace!), and I will nail that one.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekly Recap: Week 6 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

44 miles for the week! That's a lot of miles on this body, but I feel okay. I am trying to eat better and consume fewer calories from delicious craft beer -- we'll see how that works! (I am not depriving myself, though; I am just trying to be more cognizant of what I'm eating and how I feel.) I hit my workouts this week (barely, I admit), but I'm progressing!

Monday: 8 miles (TM) with 4x1200s at 10k pace: 8:27, 8:34, 8:25, 8:22, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 8 miles with 4x1200s at 8:21 to 8:42 pace & 600m rest
I wasn't sure how this workout was going to go because I'd just run 10 hot, humid miles the day before. I was feeling relatively okay beforehand, but it was 90 degrees and just gross outside. I decided hitting my paces was more important than running outside, so home to the basement treadmill I went. Overall, SUCCESS! I turned on Buffy, warmed up for 1.76 miles and then started my workout: .75 miles at 6.9/7.0 mph with .37 recovery at 5.0 mph, repeat 4 times and then cool down for 1.76 miles. I just followed my watch (I have a footpod), so it has my paces as a little quicker. I don't know which is more accurate, but I do know that either way, I hit all of my paces!

One odd note: my arches were really bothering me afterward, especially my left one.

Tuesday: 6 miles, 10:33 pace, Saucony Zealots
Target: 6 miles, easy
Nothing to talk about here. Took it easy to recover from Monday and prepare for Wednesday, although this was a somewhat hilly bike path. But as Hansons says, don't avoid the hills! In any case, I'm starting to struggle with the comparison trap. It really pisses me off when others -- who aren't working as hard as I am -- perform better. I don't know what to do about that -- that's definitely a "me" problem, not their problem. Jealousy sucks.

Wednesday: 7 miles with 4 at 9:06 pace, Saucony Kinvara 6
Target; 7 miles with 4 at 9:09
Well, I hit the goal, but I was a little slower than last week, which is disappointing. I set up the workout on my watch, which was nice because I wasn't constantly checking my pace. I let my Garmin alert me if I was going too slowly (after settling in during mile 1, that only happened in mile 3); however, I felt like I also ran a little slower than I might have if I had been checking my pace constantly. I don't know if that's good or bad.

Thursday: 5 miles (TM), easy, Saucony Zealots
Target: 5 miles, easy
I had plans after work (Indians game with work people), so if I wanted to keep Friday as my rest day, I had to run before work. The treadmill and Buffy seemed easiest, so that's the route I went. I ran slowly and increased my speed gradually -- but ran very, very easy. Running 5 miles less than 12 hours after I ran 7 was a little hard, but I did it. (And my quads are sore! So glad I have 48 hours until I have to run again!)

Friday: rest
Sweet, glorious rest.

Saturday: 12 miles, 10:37 pace, Saucony Zealots (pink)
Target: 12 miles, long
I will call this a success! I did the first 9 on the Towpath and then finished with 4 on the hill (2 up, 2 down). I ran completely up the hill, and the last miles were quick due to the descent. I'm pretty happy (Aaron and the other guy we were with didn't run the entire way up the hill).

Sunday: 6 miles, 10:43 pace, Newton Fate
Target: 6 miles, easy
If I'm going to run this much, I'm going to need to cycle in some of my other shoes. The Fates were fine. I ran really slowly during this run and naturally negative-split it. My last mile was probably too fast (under 10).

Upcoming:

  • Monday: 8 miles with three 1-mile repeats at 10k pace
  • Tuesday: 5 or 6, easy
  • Wednesday: 7 miles with four at HM pace
  • Thursday: 5 or 6, easy (depends on what I do Tuesday)
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 12, long
  • Sunday: 5, easy

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hansons Half-Marathon Method -- Training Update

I'm partway through my training -- not quite halfway -- and I figured I should do a quick update.

The Running

I haven't missed any runs yet, and I haven't had too many bad runs. Running six days a week is kind of nice in that, if you have a bad run, you're running again soon so it's easy to get it out of your head. I don't really worry too much about four of those runs either because they're all to be done at my easy or long run pace (the fastest I should be going is 10:10). Recovery runs don't have a target pace at all, although I'm still staying in that 10:10 to 11:52 range.

The workouts have not been easy, but I've become accustomed to the longer warmups and cooldowns. They also make it easy to segment the workout, so even when I'm struggling with the workout itself, I can talk myself through it. Generally, the workouts have gone well.

I say this, but I haven't tackled my mile repeats yet. That's next week. But I don't have to worry about that yet! See? Running six days a week makes it easier to just focus on the run at hand because there are plenty of other runs to do.

The Coaching

So far, I'm pretty happy with the process. I don't know if I mentioned it, but after I decided to do the Hansons Half-Marathon Method, I signed up for online coaching through Hansons website. (Sidenote: The website could use a little work.) I felt a little silly -- after all, I coached half-marathon runners! -- but I really felt like I needed additional guidance to implement this crazy, high-mileage program. The paces I was supposed to hit seemed unrealistic. After I signed up, I completed a questionnaire and my coach contacted me to discuss my goals. She's customized the program to fit my paces and other commitments. She's provided encouragement and constructive criticism. She's been very responsive and helpful. So far, so good. She was supportive when I decided that maybe I did want to "race" the Parkersburg half-marathon.

Also, she's a competitive runner who has already met the Olympic qualifying time in the half-marathon, so she's inspirational. But she also can bring her experience down to my level, which is nice. :)

Sometimes another viewpoint -- from someone who doesn't know you that well and who can be a little more objective -- is helpful. And sometimes to get that objective viewpoint, you have to pay for it. I should write more about coaching after we're done.

The Body

My body seems to be holding up okay, but the fatigue is real. I'm running a lot of miles, and at my pace, that's a lot of time on my feet. For example, last week, I spent almost 7 hours running. My legs are tired, but the calf pain I had in June has mostly gone. My calves are very tight, especially during the warmup portions. (I trust and rely on those parts of the run!)

I have been diligent in doing my abbreviated version of the Myrtl routine and foam-rolling on days I run (and I'd like to do it on my rest days too), but I do need to add in some additional work, particularly for my calves and maybe some ankle strengthening.

And for my dear neglected, hidden abs. My weight hasn't changed, which is not good -- I should have dropped a few pounds. So I'm cleaning up my diet a bit. Nothing crazy, but cutting back on the craft beer (those Belgians and imperial stouts and IPAs I like so much have a TON of calories). I'm also trying to pay more attention to what I eat (fewer lattes/more iced coffees, fewer fries/more salads, smaller portions, etc.). I'm trying to pay attention to nutrients a little more (carbs are easier than protein, but I need the protein to prepare my body for all this stress!). I'm trying to take my vitamins regularly (I brought back my daily reminder on my phone).

If my weight doesn't settle down, of course, I will have to get a little more drastic, which I hate to do while running so much. I'm hoping that cutting back on the craft beer and just generally being more vigilant will be enough.

The Conclusion -- So Far

I am happy with the program. I am taking the easy days easy, and I'm enjoying the structure. The workouts are hard, but they feel purposeful. The coaching has been helpful (and c'mon, we all need a little cheerleading/hand-holding sometimes).

I already bought into the theory behind Hansons, but doing the program is really making me believe. It doesn't make sense for your long run to be 50% -- or more! -- of your weekly mileage. Your body needs to adapt to it. I'm not sure if I would use Hansons on another marathon yet (such a time commitment to run that much), but I probably would do some variation so that my long run isn't the bulk of my mileage. (I just looked back at my marathon program from last year, and the long run averaged about 38% of my weekly mileage throughout the program. If I used a version of that program, I would just up the mileage so that my long run is no more than 30%.)

I am curious about adding some fast-finish miles to my long runs, and I will talk with my coach about that after Parkersburg.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Preview: Week 6 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

It's funny: I both look forward to training, and I fear it. I feel like I'm going into unchartered territory. I said to Aaron the other day that I feel like I'm working much harder during this training schedule than I did for marathon training last summer. It makes sense: I am more comfortable running long than I am running fast.

Onto this week: My mileage goes up to 44 miles. I have an Indians game on Thursday, so I have to switch up my training again.

  • Monday: 8 miles with 4x1200s at 8:21 to 8:42 pace & 600m rest (When this posts, I will likely just be finishing this workout! Given the heat, I'm curious to see how it goes. I've been struggling with my paces as well, so 1200 seems long!)
  • Tuesday: 6 miles, easy
  • Wednesday: 7 miles with 4 at 9:09
  • Thursday: 5 miles, easy
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 12 miles, long
  • Sunday: 6 miles, easy

There's always the chance that Thursday and Friday will get flipped, but I am hoping to get in the 5 miles before work on Thursday.

I mentioned earlier how tired I am, and I'm hoping to take better care of myself this week, Wish me luck!

Weekly Recap: Week 5 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

I had plans on Thursday, so I had to move some things around this week. I switched Tuesday and Thursday's speedwork to Monday and Wednesday, and then I switched Monday and Thursday's easy runs so I had fewer miles on Thursday. Then I ended up switching Saturday and Sunday so I could run long with Aaron on Sunday.

ANYHOW. This week was 40 miles *and* took me to 100 miles for July. I am feeling okay. Most runs start out with my calves feeling very tight, but they eventually loosen up. My calves are constantly feeling achy and twitchy though. Another thing is just how TIRED I am. I shouldn't be surprised, but I am.

Monday: 8 miles, 5 1000k repeats (8:33, 8:24, 8:41, 8:37, 8:40), Saucony Kinvara 6
Target: 5x1000m repeats at 8:21 to 8:42 with 600m rest (8 miles total)
I knew going into this workout that I was going to struggle. The repeats were long, and my last two speed workouts were on the treadmill and didn't go that well. But I did it, and I hit the repeats (although some consistency there would have been nice!). Last week, I told my coach that I had struggled and walked some/a lot during the recovery portions, and she really encouraged me to run the recoveries, even if they're almost as slow as walking them. I jogged the first three recoveries entirely, but during te last two, I did walk for about 30 seconds at the beginning of each one. Worse, there was some walking during my cooldown. All in all, I'm not too disappointed in myself. I just wish it were easier :)

Tuesday: 5 miles, 10:37 pace, Saucony Zealots
Target: 5 miles, easy
Nothing really to talk about here. Just an easy run with Aaron. I never really felt great -- my calves were pretty tight, breathing seemed a little more labored than it should have been.

Wednesday: 7 miles, 4 at 9:05 average, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 7 miles with 4 at half-marathon pace (9:09)
That pace run was tough. I may have psyched myself out a little, too. I didn't feel great going into the run, and the 1.5-mile warmup was sluggish. But I went for it. Miles 1 and 2 were 9:04 and 9:05, but Mile 3 was 9:17 (!). I recovered and brought the average back with an 8:54 Mile 4. Overall, the pace run portion was 9:05 average. Next week, I need to hold it together for Mile 3 better.

Thursday: 4 miles, 10:13 pace, Saucony Zealots
Target: 4 miles, easy
After work, I quickly got in 4 miles before beer school. I felt surprisingly good given the pace run the evening before.

Friday: sweet, glorious rest

Saturday: 6 miles, 10:30 pace, Saucony Zealots (new pair)
Target: 6 miles, easy
Normally I do my long runs on Saturdays, but Aaron had to work so I switched 'em up. I started at 9, and it was already around 80 degrees. I took it pretty easy and felt okay. I added in some strides in the last mile just to see if my legs could turn over a little more quickly.

Sunday: 10 miles, 10:39 pace, Saucony Zealots (blue)
Target: 10 miles, easy
I would have liked to see a pace a little quicker, but it was hot and humid (already 80 degrees by our 8am -- well, closer to 8:30! -- start time). This was a rare positive split run, but I was SOAKED afterward.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekly Recap: Week 4 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

Cumulative fatigue is real. I'm a month into the Hanson's plan, and I feel okay -- but by Friday, I am *so ready* for that rest day.

I ended up with a little over 36.5 miles for the week, and I mostly felt pretty good. I did have some issues with my calves being really tight, so I'm trying to pay extra attention to both calves (not just the cranky right one -- which feels weird today). I've been really good about doing my post-run routine, which includes an abbreviated version of the Myrtl routine and foam-rolling. I'm also thinking about scheduling a massage with a new therapist (the one I love has hours that don't work for me, plus I think she's going back to school and won't be practicing nearly as much).

Monday: 5 miles, 10:17 pace, Saucony Zealot, 80s & 70% humidity
Target: 5 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
I contemplated swapping Monday's 5 for Wednesday's 4 so that I could run a little longer with the group on Wednesday and recover better from Sunday's trail run. If I'd ended up on the treadmill, I'm guessing it would have been 4, but luckily I was able to miss the rain. It was warm (car said 87 degrees, but I don't think it as that warm where I ran) and humid, but I had a nice, natural negative split.

Tuesday: 7.5 miles with 6 800meter repeats (8:34 to 8:41), 1:20, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 7.5 miles with speedwork 6x800s (8:21 to 8:42 pace) with 400 recovery
The treadmill, again. Ugh. I managed to do the repeats at pace, but then ended up walking a decent amount of the recoveries. Part of the issue is that, on the treadmill, I'm choosing my paces. It's trickier to just slow way down and then speed up naturally. (Excuses!) I talked with my coach (ha!) about it, and she really emphasized that I should be jogging the recoveries, while acknowledging that walking is better than stopping. Next week, I pledge to do better!

Wednesday: 4 miles with the hill, 10:20 pace, Saucony Zealots
Target: 4 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
The Hansons plan does not include specific hill work because you are not supposed to be avoiding hills (read: I should be doing more runs in my neighborhood since it's hilly!). With that in mind and the fact that I only had 4 miles on the schedule, I decided to do Brecksville Reservation hill. I had a nice run, kept it relatively easy and reined in the pace on the last two miles, keeping them around 10. The only concern is how this hill run might affect Thursday's pace run...

Thursday: 6 miles, 3 at 9:08, 9:04, 8:48, Saucony Kinvara 6
Target: 6 miles with three at half-marathon pace (9:09)
I am amazed I pulled this out. Not as nice as last week's, but still: All under 9:09 with a negative split. I felt pretty tired, but I managed to push through and resisted stopping. My calves were really tight during the warmup and cooldown.

Friday: rest!
Target: rest
I love my rest days.

Saturday: 8 miles, 10:28 pace, Saucony Zealots
Target: 8 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
Saturday's group run always spreads out, but I had company for my full 8 miles with a friend and her baby. I took it easy and was pretty consistent. I felt just fine.

Sunday: 6 miles, 10:36 pace, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 6 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
Aaron and I ran in Kent on the Portage Hike & Bike trail for our final run of the week. I felt pretty good actually and was very happy with our pace.

This week, I'm switching some things up since we have plans Thursday night:

  • Monday: 5x1000m repeats (8:21 to 8:42 pace) with 600m rest
  • Tuesday: 5 miles, easy
  • Wednesday: 7 miles with 4 at half-marathon pace (9:09)
  • Thursday or Friday: 4 miles, easy / rest
  • Saturday: 10 miles
  • Sunday: 6 miles

Monday, July 06, 2015

Upcoming Week

My mileage goes up to 36.5 miles this week. Here's the schedule for this week:
  • Monday: 5 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
  • Tuesday: 7.5 miles with speedwork 6x800s (8:21 to 8:42 pace) with 400 recovery
  • Wednesday: 4 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
  • Thursday: 6 miles with three at half-marathon pace (9:09)
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 8 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
  • Sunday: 6 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
Notes:
  • The weather is looking awful, and I am afraid that Tuesday's track workout will end up on the treadmill again. That is preferable to Thursday's on the treadmill, though, so I'm hoping the weather will improve. 
  • I'm glad the pace run stays at 3 miles this week. Last week's went really well, so I'm hoping for a repeat. That should help my confidence some. 
  • I'm thinking about swapping Monday and Wednesday, but we'll see. (This will be published right around when I'm deciding!)

Weekly Recap: Week 3 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

Week 3 is done! I hit the pace run well, and I sort of hit the workout (although it was altered somewhat). I ended up with just short of 35 miles, and I'm feeling okay. The Friday rest days are welcomed though!

Monday: 4.15 TM miles, 10:32 pace, Saucony Kinvara 5 coral (dead) + strength
Target: 4 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
I wanted to do some strength-training, so I just went to the gym for the easy 4-miler. Nothing much to speak of -- I did some upper body weights and then ran easy on the treadmill. I need to recalibrate my footpod because it's off by over a tenth again.

Tuesday: 7.25 TM miles, 8x600 repeats (average 8:30), Saucony Kinvara 5 white
Target: 7 miles with speedwork 8x600s (8:21 to 8:42 pace) with 400 recovery
More details here, but I'll consider this a relative success. The treadmill forced me to hit the paces, but I'm not really ready for the paces, so I ended up walking the recovery (which I also shortened).

Wednesday: 5 miles, 10:24 pace, Saucony Zealots
Target: 5 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
Just an easy group run.

Thursday: 6 miles with 3 at HM pace, Saucony Kinvara 6
Target: 6 miles with three at half-marathon pace (9:09)
I was worried about this workout. I started my 1.5-mile warmup and felt pretty dead. I was running around an 11-minute pace maybe, and I didn't see how I could drop the pace to 9. Actually this ended up a really good run: 9:07, 8:58, 8:45 -- boom.

Friday: rest
Target: rest

Saturday: 7.1 miles, 10:25 pace, Saucony Zealot
Target: 7 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
Nothing much to speak about here. Last mile was under 10 (accidentally). I ran with a friend (and was probably holding her back), and I saw a lot of other people we knew out there. During mile 6, I stopped to walk for a minute or two with a former training group participant so that we could catch up a bit.

Sunday: 5.4 miles, trail, 13+ pace, Saucony Peregrine
Target: 5 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
Trail-running for "easy" runs is a little tricky (not to mention doing this after Saturday's beers). I tried to really take it easy, not pushing even when I knew I could. It was a beautiful morning. 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Speed Workout: 8x600s

I finished last night's speed workout a sweaty mess, so that's good. And I hit the intervals within range, so that's good as well. But I didn't do the workout as prescribed:

1.5 warmup
8x600s with 400 recovery (8:21 to 8:42 pace)
1.5 cooldown

It was storming, so I moved my workout to the treadmill, which made it a little more complicated. I made myself a little spreadsheet to keep track of when to change the paces (.37 miles ≈ 600 meters), but after the first repeat, I didn't really follow that. I planned to do the eight repeats like this:

2 at 6.9 mph (8:42)
2 at 7.0 mph (8:34)
2 at 7.1 mph (8:27)
2 at 7.2 mph (8:20)

And I *did* those, but I'm clearly not in shape for that because I felt it necessary to walk the recovery. Then I felt guilty for walking, so I shortened the recovery, roughly by half. So after the first interval, I think I did the .37 at pace and then .13 walking recovery.

I ended up with 7.25 miles (≈ 1.5 warmup, intervals, 1.37 cooldown). Not the biggest fail, but it's also not the best interpretation of the workout.

Coming up tomorrow is my first pace run, and I'm curious to see if I can hold half-marathon pace for three miles. There's no real reason that I shouldn't be able to. The pace is 9:09, and I've set my watch for 9:00 to 9:15. It's just 3 miles, and on Saturday -- not really trying during the Thirsty Dog 8k -- I ran my last two consecutive miles under that pace. Eventually I want to do my pace runs at Sand Run, but I think I'll do the first one on the Towpath to set myself up for success.