Well– here we are! Less than 24 hours until the 2015 3M Half Marathon.
I ended up not doing much of a taper this week, which is partly due to the fact that my mileage has overall been lower than previous half marathon training cycles. I did make sure to get in 2 days of complete rest and got my 2 days of strength training done earlier in the week because doing squats or deadlifts the day before a race is probably not a good idea.
Monday, 1/19: REST
Tuesday, 1/20: AM: 6.02 miles with 3.74 @ HM pace (which ended up being 7:40-7:50 pace). This felt…just okay. PM: elliptical and strength training.
Wednesday, 1/21: 5 miles easy
Thursday, 1/22: AM: 4 miles easy on the treadmill due to an intense rainstorm outside. I upped the pace a little every time a new song came on my iPod to prevent dying of boredom. (But honestly, 4 miles is pretty short and it was so awful outside that the treadmill was a welcome respite). PM: elliptical and strength training.
Friday, 1/23: REST
Saturday, 1/24: 3.06 miles easy, followed by lots of stretching and foam rolling. Two of the training programs (1 and 2) that I loosely followed over the past few months have rest days scheduled right before the race, which is something I never like doing. I much prefer going for a short, easy run to get my legs stretched out and moving– especially after spending most of Friday sitting at my desk at work.
I also haven’t had any alcohol or Diet Coke since Tuesday night. (I was going to quit drinking alcohol after the weekend but we had an open bottle of a really delicious Malbec that I wanted to finish up). I’ve continued to snack liberally on leftover Christmas candy though, so I guess I’m still not ready to start a healthy living blog. I usually have 3-4 standard servings of alcohol and maybe 2 12 oz cans of Diet Coke per week, so cutting them out for a few days isn’t going to really impact my performance tomorrow aside from forcing me to drink more water.
Onto my plan and goals for tomorrow!
In 2014 I ran this race in 1:38:48. I would love to run that time (or faster) tomorrow but I’m not sure it’s realistic right now. Over the past few months I’ve been pretty diligent about track workouts, and I think that really paid off for my recent 5K and 10K races (which were not too far off from my PRs). I have not been diligent about running half marathon pace miles and have only done 4 or 5 double digit runs since October. There are a few reasons for this:
- I swapped out some tempo runs early in the training cycle for 5K/10K pace repeats on the track (or treadmill) because I wanted to avoid running on harder surfaces.
- I had 2 weeks in December when I barely ran at all due to travel/illness/laziness/etc.
- I did not want to run too many miles and re-injure myself. A year ago I was typically running 6 days a week for a total of 40-45 miles and I’d just completed another half marathon in early December. My highest mileage week this cycle was 32 miles and I’ve typically only run 5 days per week.
And I’m okay with all of this. I’d like to eventually really try for a PR again (and I have a few goal races tentatively picked out for the spring) but right now I’m just glad I’m not injured. Aside from taking off the week of Christmas to drink a lot of beer and eat my weight in chocolate, I think I was pretty smart about my training. Yes, I probably should have had more tempo runs but there’s nothing I can do about that now except remember it the next time I train for a half.
As for my race plan tomorrow? I’m planning on starting again with the 1:45 pace group, which is an 8:00 min/mile pace. After the first mile or two I’m hoping to get ahead of them and stick to a 7:45ish pace. If I feel surprisingly faster than that (which is what happened last year), I’ll let myself speed up a bit on the lengthy downhill portions. Basically, I’m aiming for a finish in the low 1:40s. If I can squeak in a sub-1:40 finish, that would be amazing but I’m not going to try for that unless I’m feeling really awesome.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a race recap, including a full rundown of the goodie bag from the expo, which is excellent. Scotch tape! Kitchen sponges! POST ITS!