On Sunday afternoon, using the measuring tool on Microsoft Streets and Trips (also available on Google maps), I found out how many yards it was between every street that I pass on my route. The distance actually worked out to 2.92 miles when measured that way instead of 2.8 miles so I might actually be running a little farther and faster than I thought. Then I applied a rate to each segment - a faster rate for my first 3 minute segment as well as a downhill portion leaving all the other segments the same. Then I found out how many minutes it should take to get to each street as well as what my halfway to that street time should be.
I run while listening to music on an mp3 player and have used audacity to make custom length segments to use when doing the couch-to-5k running plan this spring. Listening to music to tell me when to switch from running to walking is much easier at 5 am then pressing a stopwatch and remembering how long you're supposed to run. Anyway, using audacity, this Sunday I recorded notes for myself for the halfway mark "halfway to __ street in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1" as well as street notes of "to __ street in 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1" for each street (17 streets in all). Then I arranged those notes on my 24 minute music segment. On Monday, I ran with these notes for the first time. All was going ok (though I was behind my notes for most of the time) until my shoe got untied when I was .5 miles from the end. I paused the time and tied my shoe and then took a minute (or so) to catch my breath and decide if I should run and finish the route. I finally decided I would go on and restarted the time. I did end up finishing in 24:03 but wasn't sure if I could have without the break. So, today was the real test. I put a fresh battery in my mp3 player, tied my shoes tight and was off!
It's funny how my mind plays tricks on me. Within a couple minutes I was sure that I must be running slow and would never make it even to the first street on time. But I actually managed to stay within a few seconds of almost every time segment and finished with 5 seconds to spare! If I'm running 2.8 miles, that's a rate of 7mph or 8.6 minute miles. It's nice to have finally hit that goal! I'm not sure what my next goal with be. I was pretty exhaused when I finished the run so so I think I may just do this route a few more times and chose something new after my trip to Chicago in August.
If any of you want to do the couch-to-5k plan, take a look at this chart. I made it for my use in doing the plan. It was much easier for me to quickly follow a chart then to keep up with the pages of notes on their website.