So, let's ignore iffy one mile test objectives for the moment. After all, my main CI for this year, and every year, is to run injury free and as often as possible with my wife. But I'm not a miler, I would never run a mile race, it really isn't a major preoccupation of my running aims - apart from some curiosity in whether Lori or I will get there first. In any case, Eric's training programs are about speed and endurance over longer distances.

Which is great, because I do enjoy running 10K races and the occasional half marathon. Yet I haven't entered a race for ages (summer 2010 was my last) because of persistent injury. And then I read Born to Run and was really struck by Eric's words to Chris - "you're like everyone else, you don't know what you're doing." And that really started the long, slow journey back to running consistently. So maybe I'll be able to enter a few 10K races this year. Perhaps I'll run some PBs, perhaps not. But that's not much of a CI.

And then today, as I set out on a week or so of running for the thrill of running - my reward to myself for finishing Phase 1 and a short break before starting Phase 2, I thought, hey, how about trying to beat all the PBs for all our local routes? We've loads of these, built up from The Time Before Children when we ran together all the time, going as fast as we could, not a clue about training, racing each other, and having an absolute blast. We gave them names - The Horse Course, Hatching Lane Half Hour, the long Swinbrook via Langley - and we (I) recorded the times...

so I ran the short Swinbrook via Fordwells today, 7.4 miles along empty country lanes, and with a couple of killer hills, the second about 2 miles long, a real leg and lung buster. But now I love hills, I go at them "like kids churning through a leaf pile" to quote my favorite bit of B2R ("and they sure as hell aint laughing about it" :-)). The whole thing felt utterly fantastic. I've still got a huge grin. And to cap it, the 59'45" time knocked 4 minutes off my previous best for this route, from March 2010. One down, a dozen or so to go...

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Comment by Paul Weeks on February 19, 2014 at 1:10am

Thanks, Eric. I take your point about the mile time improvement. Let me put it another way - running a PB for the mile would mean nothing to me if I didn't have the stamina to run any further. I'd be happy if 7 minutes was my best time for the mile if I could actually keep that pace for a 10K or a half marathon (or futher!).

Comment by Paul Weeks on February 19, 2014 at 1:08am

Thanks Robert - it's a brilliant line, isn't it? I wish I'd said it first, but it isn't original - Chris McDougall uses it in Born To Run when describing the Tarahumara at Leadville running up a slope that everyone else in the race walks up!

Comment by Robert Burpee on February 18, 2014 at 6:22pm

 Fantastic blog Paul when you said, "I go at them "like kids churning through a leaf pile", instantaneously I was transported back to when as a kid I use to do this and how you see kids joyously doing this all the time. - magic

Comment by Paul Weeks on February 17, 2014 at 1:46am

Cheers, Eric. I hadn't forgotten about the photos - just need a break in this UK flooding type weather to get out with the camera!

Comment by Eric Orton on February 16, 2014 at 2:38pm
Also the coach in me still needs to say, remember that mile time/improvement translates to improvement at all distances.
Comment by Eric Orton on February 16, 2014 at 2:36pm
Cool, cooler, coolest! This sounds like a blast and love it. Keep reinventing YOUR running!
Now we just need pictures to go with these courses!

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