I've just started training for a 15k on July 4th. I don't anticipate this run being too difficult as I can run 6 miles without much ado and it's just 3 miles more. However, I'm constantly working on my speed. I know I am capable of faster speeds than I regularly clock. I can push myself on the treadmill in ways I don't push myself on the road.
Today's schedule run was 4 miles with 2 miles @ 9:25 pace. Running with my Nike+ is great, but it's hard to track my pace during a run. It will tell me my current pace, but I have to do a lot of calculations in my head to figure out my mile paces. Which is why I usually resort to the treadmill for my speed workouts.
But tonight I decided to try a new technique enabling me to run outside but still keep track of my pace. I ran 1.25 miles as a warm up and ended up at a park across the street. There is a sidewalk that loops that park and about 2.5 loops equals 1 mile. It's easier for me to push on a repeat like that, instead of worrying about crossing intersections and cars seeing me. I reset my Nike+ when I started, so that I could track the pace for just my 2 speedy miles.
I haven't synced my run yet, but I know that my first mile was around 8:30. I finished the 2 miles in just under 18 minutes--almost a full minute faster than "required."
It was a huge confidence booster. Yes at times my lungs felt like they were going to burst. My legs felt pretty strong the whole time. But I can do this. I can run faster. Sure it was just 2 miles, but last week I thought I would die running 2 x 9:05 on the treadmill with a .5 jog in between.
Just maybe one day I'll qualify for Boston. Maybe when I'm 40.
I don't know that I could pump out 9 miles at the 9:00 pace. My main goal is to beat my half marathon pace from last November, which was 9:53. Just maybe it's possible.