Just this week, Julie Creffield of Too Fat To Run gently ranted against our constant need to point out how slow we are.
On this, my first day of half marathon training, I ran/walked a 22-minute pace. Non-runners, that means it took me 22 minutes to go each mile, on average.
Let me just bore you with some math. A 20-minute pace is 3 mph; a 15-minute pace is 4 mph. I can run at 4.5 mph for a few minutes on a treadmill, no incline and while not pushing a toddler in a stroller. So that represents my max speed under ideal conditions right now.
The pace I ran today in my hilly neighborhood, pushing a stroller with under inflated tires over bumpy sidewalks and constantly checking my phone for the time? I could do that every day for the rest of the year and not feel bad about myself. No joke, I'm not racing anyone, I just can't let Mamie get away from me and roll down a hill!
But there is one reason speed matters to me. The Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon has a 4-hour cut off. That translates roughly to 3.3 mph. Today I ran/walked 2.7 mph. Doesn't look like a drastic change to accomplish over 5 months, does it? Except that I won't be satisfied with 3.3 -- I want to be closer to 4. I want a nice cushion between my ass and the police car that will shut down the race and sweep up those too slow to finish in 4 hours.
It was humiliating and devastating when that happened to me the last time I attempted this race. Of course, that time I hadn't trained and didn't even know I had to be a certain speed. I have every chance to make it this time.