This morning I woke up to sunshine. It was a beautiful morning and I had a “first thing in the morning” run planned. It was still a bit chilly out when I left the house. I had no particular mileage in mind so I decided to go to the college nearby. There is a pretty pond with a one mile trail that loops around it.

Waterfall on a sunny spring morning

As usual my iPhone photo doesn’t do the view justice, but I tried. The sun was sparkling on the rushing waterfall creating a haze behind it.

I felt good from the start. The trail is marked along the way and when I peeked at the Garmin at the half way point I was running under a 10 minute mile. At my best last year when I was training for the half marathon I ran a 10 minute mile. My 5K PR is 28:53, average pace 9:18 (though I felt horrible and thought I ran a terrible race?!) in December 2010. So I know that it’s possible for me to run under a 10 minute mile for more than just a few minutes.

I had about an hour before I had to return home. I ended up completing 5 miles in 49:25. I was really happy with that. My breathing was great throughout the run. My legs felt really good. The weather couldn’t have been better. All the pieces seemed to come together to make for a perfect run.

I felt inspired by my morning run so I sat down tonight and finally completed part 1 of my 2011 race/training schedule. I registered for a 5K on May 1, 2011. I set up a training schedule that begins tomorrow and ends on the date of the 5K.

I have decided to revisit speed work as the focus for my training schedule. I already know that I can run the 3.1 miles. As I mentioned above my PR is 28:53. I honestly don’t know if I could replicate that right now. I ran throughout the winter, but I did not follow any kind of consistent schedule. My speed has definitely suffered a little as a result.

This is where I get ambivalent about racing. Do I have to PR every time? If I don’t will I beat myself up over it? I think at this point I would like to keep my 5K time under 30 minutes and if I PR great, if not there’s always next time.

Part 2 of my training schedule will likely be for the Shelburne Falls Bridge of Flowers 10K which I ran last year. It’s a fun race with a giant hill at mile 2. I like the 10K distance and I would really like to improve on my race time for that particular race. Last year I ran it in 1:07:36…I curse that hill!

Part 3 of the training schedule schedule will be the final phase of my year long training plan as I prepare for the Disney 2012 Marathon. I expect that I will run a half marathon in either September or October as part of the marathon training. I might throw in one or two more 5K races in the later part of the year just for fun.

When I read back what I had just written I thought to myself, “who am I writing about?” It’s strange that running has become such an important part of my life. I get goose bumps whenever I imagine myself lining up at the starting line getting ready to run a full marathon. Life is full of possibilities!

Speaking of marathons I am so excited for my cousin, Jenna, who is running the Paris Marathon tomorrow. Go Jenna!

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