Running goals for before the snow falls (and maybe a little after…)

Fall has arrived and the hills are currently shimmering with golden leaves. Although the scenery is glorious to run through or glad past on my drive to and from work, I know that it signals that only a couple few weeks of warm weather remain. With the arrival of October the leaves will brown and fall, and the currently glowing aspen groves and grass-covered hills will fade to gray, and then rapidly turn white with snow*.

Since the good running weather and Fall racing season are winding down I wanted to take stock of where I am and what my remaining goals are for the season.

So far, Fall is starting off well. I just hit another strong week and had the endurance to enjoy my longest run since November 2014 (14 miles, woohoo!). I’ve enjoyed a wonderful summer of racing and have gone from a fitness level where my legs could barely hold 7:mid pace for 5k to being able to hold 6:mid for the same distance. I have had a few setbacks, but have been healthy enough to enjoy many workouts, races, and exploratory runs over the local trails.

Moving forward, I have two main goals:

  1. Break 20 minutes in the 5k. I haven’t done this since Fall 2014 and would LOVE to break that barrier again. However, if I have strong races in my last few XC 5k/6k’s and don’t hit this mark (or the equivalent for 6k) I won’t be devastated. Cross-country is a whole different beast than track or road 5ks since terrain can make times for the same effort hugely variable.
  2. Break my half-marathon PR! My current best of 1:41:49 was set with stronger training, but on trails with some massive hills and plenty of mud. I’m planning to race in Moab at the end of October with a friend and am hoping that the drop in elevation and the mild road course will allow me to push under 1:40. I’ve added a few half marathon workouts to my training plan (from the Kara Goucher plan here) and have hit a few long runs of 12-14 miles to hopefully get some endurance and appropriate pacing into my legs for the attempt. We’ll see what happens – either way it’s a great excuse to spend some time enjoying the red rocks and warmer weather of Moab and to get a chance to visit and run with a good friend.

Ok, now that I have some goals I just need the snow to hold off a few weeks longer so I can keep racing and training! Everyone please hold off on your snow dances until November 😉 Please share your fun/exciting Fall goals in the comments, I would love to see how everyone else is handling the last bit of Fall training/racing before the arrival of winter…

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*This may sound like an exaggerated timeline, but it legitimately snowed yesterday here. I live in the land of winter 😐

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5 thoughts on “Running goals for before the snow falls (and maybe a little after…)

  1. Fall has arrived and the hills are currently shimmering with golden leaves.

    SUPER jealous. We’re still not-so-patiently waiting for fall to arrive down south; even cooler temperatures alone would be fantastic.

    Those goal times are excellent! I too would love to crack 1:40 in the half someday but I’m nowhere near my PR right now (also just above 1:41) and I have no idea when I could get back to pushing that boundary. I imagine training at altitude as you do helps a lot!

    • Oh man, I wish I could send some of the frost & cooler temps your way – waiting for Fall is tough in the kind of heat you’ve been having. Hopefully it’ll start cooling down for you guys soon!

      And yes, I think the altitude definitely helps with the aerobic/strength side! The only downside is that all my recovery runs are MUCH slower, so my turnover/leg speed is a bit lacking and anything quick makes my legs feel like they are maxing out, even if aerobically I feel ok. It’ll be interesting to see how things feel when I drop 4000 feet in elevation for the half!

      Hopefully you’ll get some nice steady training in during the cooler winter and can join in the 13.1 PR hunt 🙂

  2. Good luck training for Moab! I’ll send some of this Texan sun your way to try and prevent the snow from arriving too quickly! Can’t wait to hear how it goes 🙂

  3. Pingback: Half marathon next weekend!!! | This is a bit random, but...

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