Jeffrey Inscho

October 6, 2021

Episode 001: The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

Greetings. This is Episode 001 of an experiment in extemporaneous writing between me and you, via email or the web. It's loose, informal and mostly unformatted. If you're reading this in your inbox and something I've said sparks a thought, smash that reply button. I'd love to hear from you. Enjoy!

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001.01 - The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

For the better part of the past two decades, I've always had a dedicated home base on the internet. Whether it was a blog in the early '00s or a professional portfolio presence as I rose up the ranks of the corporate world, my personal website (inscho.org) was the grounding point for me among the vastness of the internet.

The web has evolved over the years and my need/desire/interest for a digital home base is fleeting. As of October 2021, this is the new inscho.org: A space for free-form writing about the areas of life that matter most to me. It's not powered by any of the latest & greatest platforms in website creation. On the contrary. It's powered by (gasp) email! Posts are created in my email client and I send 'em out into the ether. Keepin' it simple.

Topics range from personal interests like ultrarunning and punk rock to professional interests like digital culture and customer experience strategy, and everything in between. Frequency of updates will be unpredictable, but intentional. You can sign up to receive updates via email and view the public archive at inscho.org.

001.02 - Sub-20 5K! F%$k Yeah!

Earlier this year, I experienced my first ultramarathon DNF when I failed to cross the finish line at the Laurel Highlands 70M Ultra. This was a crushing blow to my ego. I trained relentlessly for six months pursuing a goal that was just not meant to be on that particular day. Falling short messed with me for several weeks and caused me to seriously question the "why" behind my running. 

After the DNF, I took an opportunity to examine my running journey and change up my training a bit. I decided to go back to my roots as a road runner -- foregoing ultra-based training runs -- and really working on speed. Most of my summer was spent getting after it in the early mornings, when the humidity is at its peak. I bought a heart rate monitor and was very intentional with the training.  Easy runs were *very* easy and encompassed about 80% of my weekly mileage. Speed work was focused and intense (intervals on the track & tempo runs twice per week), making up the remaining 20% of weekly miles. 

Three months into this training, I was interested to understand the impact. I planned to go after a sub-20 minute 5k time trial. For the non-runners, that translates to about 6'25" pace over the 3.1 miles. And to add some context, here is my 5k PR journey since 2019:

  • July 4, 2019 - 21:39 
  • January 1, 2020 - 21:37 
  • June 2, 2020 - 20:38 
  • October 25, 2020 - 20:22 

Could I shave at least 22 seconds off my best time through this training cycle? The answer was an emphatic, "Yes!" I pulled a 19:44 and a 6'21" pace with negative splits!

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And here are my splits:

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I haven't run sub-20 since my high school Cross Country days more than 20 years ago! These results energize me and have refreshed my love for getting after it each and every day. I'm curious to see where this leads as I take on other distances. Next up: I plan to go for a PR at the Veteran's Marathon on November 7th and will report back with those results.