I've been running regularly and (mostly) with a plan for improvement for about three months now, I believe. Prior to that, I ran about, oh, maybe 6 - 8 miles a week. Now, after doing my 10K, I'm taking a break from my training plan, but still running and averaging about 20 miles a week or so. The plan from here is to just run as I can/want to through December, then start a half marathon training program in January. I'll be doing a half marathon in early May.
This is all fine and good. I'm slow still. In fact, after watching Hood to Coast last night, I was poking around, looking at their web site and discovered that I'm really too slow to run the Hood to Coast unless I have much stronger people on my team. You, as a team, have to be able to average 9:45 miles. Now, I could probably do that for 2, possibly 3, miles, but not for three legs of 4-7 miles each. Not that I was really thinking I could do the Hood to Coast anyway. I have this little fantasy that someone would ask me to join their team because I know it's about 50/50 to get your own team in on the lottery system and I'm not all that excited about captaining a team anyway. However, now that I know how fast people are supposed to be, who'd want me on their team even if they were desperate?
Any-who, that was a little digression here.
The point is that I'm still slow, but I'm relatively happy with my running (Hood to Coast dreams aside). My mileage is certainly improving. I actually have two running speeds now - working hard and working really hard. Okay, maybe three, actually, I also have killing myself, which is an all out sprint. However, it used to be that I only had one speed and that was working really hard while barely moving faster than a walk. So, this is an improvement.
Anthony took up running right about that same 3 months ago, maybe a later. He spent a whole month or so walking half the time. He's never gone out for longer than a half an hour.
This morning, we each went for a run. I did 3.88 miles according to my GPS. I was out (minus a bathroom break at Freddie's) for 43 minutes. Anthony did about 3.8 (he doesn't have a running GPS, so that's from Map my Run) and he was out for 34 minutes.
The plan is for both of us to do the Portland Marathon in October 2012. Guess who will log more running hours with more intensive and specific training. Guess who will finish first by a long shot. If you picked different names, then we're on the same page. It's kind of depressing.
Of course, it's only fair to mention that Anthony has a huge aerobic base compared to me. He's been doing centuries on his bike for something like 6 years now. Even on the days he doesn't work out, he rides into and home from work for about 40 minutes total riding. So, it's not like he's not doing anything and getting results.
Still, from past experience, even if that were the case - him doing much less than me period - he'd still be faster. Sigh.