Friday, April 6, 2018

Race Day is TOMORROW!!!!!

Every time I start training for a race the end of the cycle seems so far away. The next thing I know 3 months have flown by and race day is here. I started this cycle hoping to train for a PR half marathon. I also entered the cycle with a nagging glute/hamstring issue that I had ignored for over a year and it just wouldn't go away. When my speed work started really suffering, as in running 800 repeats at my tempo pace, I finally gave in and went to see a physical therapist. Wouldn't you know within days my speed work was down to 5k pace! It has been almost a month since my first PT appointment and running has been going so well! I'm afraid it's too little too late and I missed out on enough strong speed workouts at the beginning of the season that I'm not quite in shape for a PR half but I'm not totally counting it out. The course I ran in November 2016 and just missed a PR by 14 seconds had about 400 feet of elevation gain and I ran that race as my 5th race in 4 weekends. This course has pretty much no elevation gain and I haven't raced since St. Patrick's Day. I'm hoping having fresh legs for this race and a flat course will give me the edge I need to run that 1:31:35 or under.
I love the lionfish on the shirt and bib, not quite as cool as last year's sea turtle but I love sea turtles!
I'm also not focusing on a PR. If everything falls into place and it happens, that would be awesome. But I'm not putting any pressure on myself to do it. I'm going to go out at what feels comfortable and try to pick the pace up as I go. I'm okay with going out the first half at 7:00 pace and then dying in the 2nd half. I figure if I run the 2nd half at 7:30 pace I'd still run a 1:35. If 7:00 pace feels sustainable in the beginning, I'd rather go for a PR and die than not go for it and wonder if I could have hit it. If I go out at 7:10 pace and I feel like that's all I've got, I'm not going to try to force 7:00 pace by any means. I also think it would be cool to run a 1:33 something because that's the only time from 1:31-1:36 I've never run. I've run 1:31 twice, 1:32 once, 1:34 twice, 1:35 twice, and 1:36 once, but no 1:33. For a full list of my half marathon times, click here. Running a 1:33 would take around 7:09 pace which is definitely doable since I ran a 10 mile tempo in 7:15 pace with really strong wind when I was still having glute/hamstring issues. I'm pretty confident I can run around 7:10 pace for the first half and then pick it up during the second half, I'm just not sure about anything faster.

These past few weeks my easy runs have gotten significantly faster. When I was having glute and hamstring pain my easy runs were usually around 9:00 pace with 8:30 pace on a good day. Lately I've been running under 8:00 minute pace for most of my runs. I'll be running along feeling like I'm running 8:30 pace and then am shocked to see my mile split pop up under 8:00! It's a great feeling! I've had a lot of runs where after my first mile (it takes me a mile to warm up), I'm running around 7:45 pace. I keep thinking if I could run that pace so easily, maybe I could run a little under a minute per mile faster in a half. It's not a totally crazy thought. I'm enjoying running without pain so much. I think after having run in pain for so long, the joy of running pain free beats even the joy of running a PR. I'm just so happy to be running and to feel good, the PR would just be icing on the cake. That has given me more freedom to just be excited about the race and not feel nervous or stressed about trying to hit a certain time. I feel like I'm in good shape and I'm more excited to race than I ever have been before in recent memory. I feel like there's a good chance I can go out there and surprise myself and even if I don't, it will still be fun and decently fast for me.

I hadn't checked the weather forecast for race morning until last night. The coldest morning this week was in the upper-30's so I was expecting no colder than that. I was shocked when I saw 27 degrees with a feels like 16 degrees! Normally seeing temperatures like that would immediately make me not want to run but I just brushed it off. I think it helped that I ran in negative degree temps this winter so feels like 17 doesn't seem that bad. I'm also so excited for the race not much could dampen my mood! I'd rather it be a bit colder than I'd like than above 60 degrees like it has been in the past, so I'll take it, not that there's anything I could do about it anyway! I do feel bad for Carter who has a soccer game that morning. My main concern is that it will be super windy since the feels like is 11 degrees colder than the actual temperature. This race tends to be pretty windy which usually means half the race is run into the wind. The knowledge that the weather is going to be less than ideal makes it easier for me to just relax and not worry about my time. That 1:31:49 I ran back in 2016 was run in feels like 18 degrees so I'm not too concerned that the cold will slow me down, it's the possibility of strong winds that I'm worried about. Regardless of my time, I know this training cycle has been a great base to build off of this summer/fall when I begin to train for my next marathon in November! No matter how difficult the race is, I will remind myself it's only an hour and a half plus a few minutes and I can do anything for that amount of time, even freeze my tush! So bring on the cold, wind, and 13.1 miles, I'm ready!
Not the weather I was hoping for, but it will do! I'd like to know what the wind gusts will be.
Elise enjoyed going around the aquarium after picking up our packets.