Well, last night I actually followed through by jumping in the Meet of Miles - an indoor track race at the U of M Fieldhouse. Basically, it's a night of 1 mile heats and you just sign up for the appropriate heat based on the time you think you'll run. Signing up for this was way outside of the norm for me. I haven't raced indoors since 1996 and I don't think I've run a mile since 1987.
When I got there, I really had no idea what heat to sign up for. I've been basing all my Endless Season workouts off a Jack Daniels' VDOT of 48, which equates to a 6:03 mile, 20:39 5K, 42:50 10K, 1:34:53 half and 3:17 marathon. So I initially signed up for the 6:00 - 6:30 heat - even though I was eyeballing the 5:45 - 6:00 heat sheet. I told a buddy what heat I was in and he rolled his eyes. I eventually went back and signed up for the faster heat instead.
I had 3 goals for this race; 1) don't get injured, 2) run controlled and 3) earn some points in the first MDRA Grand Prix race of the year. And, of course, work towards one of my overall goals for the year, regain a love of racing.
I'm happy to report that I achieved all those goals as I ended up running around 5:51 or 5:52. I didn't take any splits so I don't have any details. I just know it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be - kind of makes me want to plan for an indoor track season with some 3 and 5K races. But I'd better not get ahead of myself.
As I've mentioned before, one of the keys to the Endless Season is to run at the correct speed for each type of workout you're doing. With last night's race, now I have a better idea of what those paces should be. My time corresponds with a VDOT of 50 which equates to 19:57 for 5K, 41:21 for 10K, 1:31:35 half, and 3:10 marathon. Now that I have a benchmark, I can look to improve upon those times throughout the year.
Quote of the day;
"While there is nothing glorious about the way I’ve ended up committed to running – not yet anyhow - there is the possibility that come January 14 I’ll be able to perform at a level that pays homage to and says something powerfully rich about the people I’ve been fortunate enough to call training partners, coaches, and friends." - Patrick Smyth