I feel like this race really snuck up on me. My training cycle was a bit abbreviated since I wanted to allow some recovery time after 3M. In retrospect, I think I needed a slightly longer break from workouts and training plans. My recovery week included a 5K race and when I jumped back into training my first few attempts at goal 10 mile race pace went horribly.
The good news is that running got a lot better over the past 4-6 weeks. My weekly mileage has been around 31-37 miles. It probably wouldn’t have killed me to crack 40 miles once or twice but I feel like the shorter (3-5 mile) easy, recovery runs in the training plan I mostly followed allowed me to run more quality workouts and 10+ mile runs. Also, keeping a close eye on my weekly mileage and valuing quality over quantity helped me avoid a debacle like 2014’s stress fracture. Since I was coming off a half marathon PR at the start of my training I felt confident about my endurance, so I tried to focus my training on building a bit more stamina and speed.
My longest run was 12.5 miles on Easter Sunday (27-Mar) with 2 x 2 miles at 10 mile effort (7:35-7:40 pace). My last “fast” mile– mile 9 (7:34)– felt pretty good and was a nice confidence booster.
This week I’ve followed almost the same taper as I did prior to 3M:
- Monday, 28-Mar: Rest, though I did spend a lot of the day walking and on my feet. This was my mom’s last day in town, so we took advantage of lovely weather and went to the Zilker Botanical Garden, the Harry Ransom Center, and a walk by Lady Bird Lake.
- Tuesday, 29-Mar: Drove my mom to the airport in the morning, worked from home the rest of the day, then went out for my last workout before the race:
- 1 mile easy
- 2 x 1.5 miles @ race pace with 1 mile recovery (11:21/7:34 pace, 11:18/7:32 pace)
- 1 mile easy
- 6 miles total
- Wednesday, 30-Mar: 5 miles easy in dreadful heat and humidity. Hopefully this will be my worst run of the week.
- Thursday, 31-Mar:
4 miles easyRest. Decided to switch my second rest day to Thursday when I saw that Friday’s weather would be much nicer.
- Friday, 01-Apr: We got some big rain storms on Thursday night and Friday morning that brought in a nice cold front. I did an easy 4 miles in lovely, sunny, 60 degree temps on Friday afternoon.
- Saturday, 02-Apr: Easy 3 miles in a nice, cool, breezy morning. We spent the rest of the morning running errands. I will be home relaxing this afternoon and watching Villanova vs. Oklahoma in a few hours. I grew up very near the Villanova campus and enjoy going to some home games when I’m visiting my parents. I would love to see Villanova win tonight but my parents are a bit apprehensive because Villanova making it to the championship means the neighborhood may get a little nuts.
Onto my race plan…
This is a bit of a redemption race for me after I narrowly missed my sub-1:17 goal at the Run for the Water. I am very confident that I can run sub-1:17 now. I feel like my fitness is good and this course is easier than the Run for the Water, although I’m a bit nervous about the gradual uphill in the last few miles. One of the nice things about having a Garmin and a running blog is that I can look back at my splits and my thoughts after the last time I ran this race. I got a little carried away on some of the early downhills and paid for it towards the end. This year I’m hoping to keep my pace consistent and in the low 7:30s for the first 5 miles– maybe longer if I’m feeling really good. The incline towards the end means negative splits aren’t likely but I’m hoping I can maintain ~7:45 pace on the hills and have a decent kick right at the end.
- First 5 miles @ 7:30 = 37:30
- Second 5 miles @ 7:40 = 38:20
- 10 miles in 1:15:50?
It’s a stretch and it’s certainly possible I will need to rethink things in the middle of the race. But that’s the plan for now and hopefully it will be at least get me to #sub1:17orbust.