Definition: A military term (US Army) meaning a fast march of 180 paces to the minute, or a slow running pace, keeping in step.
Well, the truth of the matter is that we all would like to run a little bit faster every time we step up to the starting line. So “hop to it”, on the double, double time!
Photo: Kahnawake Youth Center
Unfortunately, I won’t be setting any personal best (PB) times, or “PRs” as I always called them, a Personal Record time. Or for that matter, I won’t be running a “BQ” any time soon either. I had never heard of that term until a few years ago, and don’t recall it being used back in the days when I ran the Boston Marathon (1988 and 1989). All of my personal best times were set back during my competitive days during the middle 1980’s, and now I run for fun and enjoyment.
But, it is always fun to see some improvement. As I pass through my 50’s it’s been an ever so slight recommitment to some basic training principles that has allowed me to see some slight improvement in my times again. The most fundamental changes for me have been getting in that weekend long run, and the consistency of running 4-5 times per week, and not missing more than two consecutive days. The results are in; my 10k times in 2015 have dropped by 5-6 minutes from where they were in 2014.
Another important thing has been to set a few running goals to keep me motivated. I am not sure when this entered my mind but sometime in the last couple of years I decided that I should be able to cover the 10k distance in my age. At the end of last year I ran 55-56 minute 10k’s right at the end of the season, so it looked like a reasonable goal for 2015. I am happy to report that I achieved that goal back on September 13 in La Grande Vadrouille race, and ran a 54 minute 10k just a couple of weeks ago in the Classique de Parc la Fontaine.
This goal setting and double time thought really started to come to me last autumn, about a year ago, and is linked to the other race I ran recently, La Cross des Couleurs 8k cross country race in Les Cedres, a really tough and challenging cross country race that reminds me so much of my competitive days. In October 2014, I crossed the line in 52 minutes, that’s double the time of my usual 8k times from my cross country days at the University at Buffalo. I thought about that double time quite a bit in the days leading up to this year’s race and I found some new energy as I covered the exact same course in 48 minutes this year.
So that has me thinking about some new “doubles” for 2016. First, I am looking to double that 8k distance and run a 10 mile race on Good Friday, and that will be the race in Burlington ON, the Good Friday 10 Miler put on by the Burlington Runners. I have run this race several times, and it is well done. Secondly, I think I will double that 10k distance, put a little extra to it, and put a half-marathon back on the calendar. There are a couple of half-marathons up here that will fit the schedule (April-May) perfectly, so I will see how the winter running goes and decide which one it will be in the spring.
A couple of more races in November to end this season – Follow Your Path – see you at the races!