Sunday: 10 miles including 20 min @ 9:07 pace (overall pace 10:21); This run is a hybrid of both an easy 10 miler and a scheduled run that was supposed to include 20 min of goal pace running (remember that carry-over crap when I had to rearrange runs last week?). A part of me wanted to reattempt the 6 miles of goal pace that went horribly wrong last week. I sent a tweet out into twitter-land asking for advice about this grand idea and got this response from @The_Woz_ . She's an awesome runner so I deferred to her wisdom. Admittedly I set out to do 30 min of goal pace running (a nice compromise, I thought, between 6 miles and 20 minutes, ha ha) but felt so crappy was happy to get the plan-specified 20 minutes.
My legs felt like horrible, heavy bricks from mile 1 onward. I took a walking break at mile two. Let me repeat that. I took a WALKING break at mile TWO when I was running EASY just ONE WEEK before my let's-run-this-at-a-soul-crushing-pace half marathon. Needless to say I am sort of amazed I was able to hold a 9:07 for 20 minutes. By mile 8 my legs were toast and it was only by thinking thoughts of mental toughening up for next Sunday that I was able to keep running. I gutted this one out pretty well, but it just felt like a fail.
Monday: 4 miles @ 10:08 pace; Hallelujah. After three bad runs in a row felt normal!
Wednesday: 4.7 miles including 6x 400m @ 8:21, 8:25, 8:13, 8:16, 8:21, 8:21 pace (goal 8:31); I still have this monkey on my back from Nightmares of Runs Gone Bad but this went pretty well. God bless 400m pickups. After weeks of doing 800m, 1000m, and 1200m ones this felt almost too easy.
Friday: 3 miles @ 10:08 pace (Hey, 10:08 must be my new easy pace!); Didn't feel as spunky fresh as the last two runs but overall a nice way to end this training cycle. It was pretty warm and sunny in SF this morning (it tends to be even warmer down in San Jose) but I hear there's cooler weather in store for this weekend.
Random grumpy Mario photo
So here it comes, the "goals for the upcoming race" part of the post.
I have two goals for this race.
Goal A: 1:59:59
Goal B: 1:57:40 (my super stretch sub-9:00 pace goal)
That's it. There's nothing else. I am not even hoping for a PR that isn't Goal A or B. Because let's face it. If I PR with a 2:00:03, 2:00:02, 2:00:01, or 2:00:00 I will absolutely TOTALLY LOSE IT.
I have to admit I am not mentally feeling this coming race. The last two weeks of sub-par running have really thrown off my confidence. I am not filled with any sense of excitement. I have to share that the overriding emotion right now is DREAD.
Reasons I think Sunday could go well:
1. I have done a lot of specific training for this race. I have run more 9 minute & sub-9 minute miles than I ever have before. I have definitely gotten faster since the San Francisco Marathon.
Umm... Yeah, there's only one.
Reasons I think Sunday will go badly:
1. Numero Uno has to be the weather. NYRR does a lovely job of keeping track of weather conditions for all their races. I checked a while back. Do you know what the weather was like during the Brooklyn Half in 2006? It was 33 degrees, 42% humidity, 14 mph wind. Huh?! THIRTY THREE DEGREES! I remember it was quite chilly, my guess would have been low 40's. Probably for most of the race it was in the low 40's. But obviously it was a cold day. I am a cold weather runner. The weather in San Jose is predicted to be a low of 47, high of 69 degrees, and sunny. That isn't horrible, but it is less than ideal for me.
2. I'd really like some input from everyone on this point: 9:00 minute miles are hard for me. It doesn't matter if I'm running half a mile or 5 miles. They are not easy for me. Sometimes a mile or so goes by and it doesn't feel too bad, but the entire time I have to override the urge to run slower. The farthest I've run in training near goal pace is 6 miles. I don't know about you, but I am pretty sure 6 miles and 13.1 miles are highly varying distances! Please someone tell me that you can hold a difficult pace for twice as far as you've ever done it?! There have been days in the last few weeks trying to do 9:00's for even just 20 minutes was downright difficult. I looked at a few half training plans before I started training. None of them have you run more than 6 miles straight at goal pace. So there must be something to that. But let me tell you, that does nothing for my confidence.
My priority the next day is to get my head in this game. There's no way I can attempt to do this without even some fake confidence. Whether things go well or badly this race is not going to be a comfortable effort. I need to get psyched up for that mental game.
Boyfriend was also going to try to PR this Sunday but got injured during the training cycle. He's bummed he can't even run. So whatever happens I'm focusing on the fact that I was able to toe the line and try. This Sunday will be my 16th half marathon! That's pretty amazing in itself. I am VERY proud of the way this training cycle went. I have never attempted something so ambitious in speed work, and I have never been able to complete a training cycle injury-free which included so much speed work.
Wish me luck!