04:42:43: nice round numbers that correspond to what a race pace calculator thinks I’d complete a marathon in, assuming I continued on the 10:47 pace I ran this morning for the 16 mile run.  That 10:47 pace, though, includes various stints of walks up nasty hills on the Strider’s training course.  I’m a lousy hill runner.  Today was better than many: I did at least make it up some PART of the hills at the end before walking, but I still haven’t managed to break those hills before they break me.  And it’s not as if I somehow have the gusto to speedwalk those hills: when I’m slowed to a walk, it’s more in the 16 or 17 minute per mile pace. 

 All of that to say, I’m getting more and more excited about the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October.  If I can run what would be a 4:42:43 on THEIR course, my expectation is that I’ll do better on the Marine Corps course.  And even if I don’t, I’ve still got 18 minutes leeway to make my goal of running a sub 5 hour marathon for my first time out. 

I got my latest issue of ‘Runners World’ today.  In the articles there, they describe folks whose first marathon experience was in the 3 1/2 hour range.  Hah!  I’ll likely never be there…  But sub-5 looks promising, and I’m already dreaming of what marathon I should enter in the spring.  It’s very empowering to think that by 10am, you could’ve already run 20 miles.  And to compare your commutes to the grocery store or to work to the lenght of the LSD (long slow distance) run for the week.  Just as a cross-comparison to today’s training run, my commute to work is something like 16 miles. 

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