A Running Update

In a vineyard,  vines arch overhead to form a canopy. Tendrils pluck at your hair as you bound over the dry, thirsty earth. The smells of sulfur and something green, like grass but sharper, perfume the air. The mornings are cold and dew hits your face.  And it takes seven bloody laps to run a mile.

In a vineyard, my feet pound the ground, hard as pavement, but not very fast.

Some of you may remember when I wrote about picking up a running habit. It has been just about a month now and I am still at it (yay!). I have worked up from jogging a lap, walking a lap, and alternating to make a mile on a standard track to running a full seven laps around a little vineyard.

I am proud of the progress I have made as far as my endurance goes. Yesterday, though, I ran a mile for time and I came in at exactly 11 minutes. When running for time. I haven’t had such a slow timed mile since I was ten. And that little eye-opener has brought me to my new goal(s).

My ultimate running goal (at least for now) is a 24 minute 5k–that would be me running 3 miles and change at my fastest timed mile pace (about 7:43). For now, I have quite a way to go from 1 mile at 11 minutes to 3.1 miles at 7:43 a piece. So, I have a couple of medium-sized goals in mind, as well as the baby steps in between.

The first medium-sized goal is 2 miles in 20 minutes. I plan on getting there by getting my mile time down to 10 minutes first and building the endurance to run at that pace for 2 miles second. The second medium goal is 3 miles in 26:30 minutes, which I will achieve by working down to a mile time lower than 9 minutes and building up to 3 miles at that rate. Loosely translated: 21 laps of hair plucking, sulfur-scented running, here I come. Finally, I’ll go for the end game–the 24 minute 5k–by working on speed.

Now, writing this out, it all sounds well and good, but how long is that going to take? Reading it, this plan sounds rather like a bear. And, because of that, I am guessing I have at least six months of running and working at it to get to that kind of speed and endurance. Not to mention a least six months of running around a dusty little vineyard.

Anyone else working on running or other health goals? Have any stories or tips about improving mile times? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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