I drove over to Memorial Park on Saturday (January 3rd, day 3). The loop is 2.91 miles and I completed the loop in under an hour, including some stretching and a stop to check my shoes. That's a 20 minute pace, considerably faster than I was billing my local walk. I think my normal route through Terry Hershey is longer than I thought it was; possibly 4 miles rather than 3.5.
My plan was to run a few intervals -- sprint, run, or jog for about a minute, recover, then repeat for a total of 5 times. I didn't do that on Saturday, so I committed to going out again on Sunday.
Sunday's walk was through Terry Hershey again, yet another route, probably about 4 miles since it took me 80 minutes. I've ordered a timer to help make it easier to judge improvements in my speed, but for right now, my 'sprinting' sets last for about 128 steps, probably very close to a minute. So I ran 5 minutes and walked for 75.
I'm still eating a lot of carbs for breakfast. I did a bunch of reading last night and that's convinced me more than ever to go low carb. What's driving me primarily is health concerns, not running itself. My goal is to run to improve cardiovascular fitness, not to win any races. I want to run well but not necessarily fast. For me, that means being efficient in my workouts. The lure of competition is there. I'm driven by improving myself more than trying to beat anyone else at a race. That's where I see competition: beating my previous best time, going further, running faster.
I ate a low-carb dinner after yesterday's (Sunday's) early-evening outing and I felt great. The combination of good food and the walk left me with a lot of energy. I also ate a square of dark chocolate, something I'll continue eating for a couple months, until my performance plateaus and I can try varying my diet alone to see what kind of effect it has.
My next run is scheduled for tomorrow evening. I'll post more then.