Wednesday I had a ten mile run to take care of. Originally this had been scheduled for Monday and was supposed to be a marathon pace run. Because of weather (and my lazy weekend schedule) I rested Monday and it got pushed to Wednesday. I was pretty hesitent about running that hard of a workout so close to my half this weekend, so I decided to just do an easy-paced 10 miler.
Imagine my surprise when I looked down at my garmin at .8 miles and saw that what I thought was my easy pace was actually marathon pace. Hmm.... ok. I decided I would do 5 miles MAX at MP. Uh.... can marathon pace pleeeeeeeeeease feel like my easy pace on May 21st? That'd be neat-o burrito. (EEP! ONE MONTH!) Throughout the run I went back and forth between thinking that this pace would be a cakewalk for 26.2 miles and that I was going to crash and burn at mile 18 and want my mama. So it was nice to have the typical neurotic runner brain back for awhile. ;)
I ended up with 10 miles in 1:33:26 for a pace of 9:20. Average MP miles: 9:06 (5 o' them).
I also remember how much I love running at dusk/in the dark. There's something very peaceful about running at night. I miss it. :)
As I mentioned briefly yesterday (in between rabid raccoon assaults), I have been thinking a lot about my race strategy for Saturday's half. My half PR has been at a bit of a stand still. Yes, I PR'd technically in August on an uber flat course, but it was barely (like 15 seconds) and on a short-ish course. So really the fastest I've covered the 13.1 distance was in December 2009. Time to do some work on that puppy!
Even though the course is a toughy, I still would like to pull off a PR. Random note: this will be half marathon #10, and the first one I've raced on a hilly course..... pacing the Mankato half is the exception. Some recent tempo runs have given me the realization that the first hard mile always sucks and feels like crap, so I'm hoping to start a smidge slower than necessary to accomodate that crappiness, and then get faster from there. I usually (attempt to) employ a negative split strategy.
For Saturday the plan is:
Miles 1-3 8:40
Miles 4-7 8:35
Miles 8-10 8:30
last 5k BTTW
I usually like to think of half marathons as a hard ten miler with a 5k race on the end. For some reason, it mentally breaks it up enough in my mind to make it doable. Since coming up with this plan, I've let Jason analyze it based on the hills, and it has been tweaked slightly. So excuse me while I memorize my mile pace times (and/or etch them on to my arm....)
I'd be ecstatic with a sub 1:50, so I guess we'll call this my A goal. However, I don't want to put too much pressure on that, because I think that's why I panicked and gave up this fall. I should be able to PR (goal B), and even if it's by the skin of my teeth, I'll be ok with that, because it's a much tougher course than I've ran before.
The race field should be fairly small, so I see this as a potential positive and negative. Positive: I could win an AG award! And you'd best believe this'll bring out the competitor in me. Negative: If there's no one around me, that competitiveness could be lost quickly. Based on last year's results, I could've placed 2nd, so a top 10 would be AWESOME (there are a lot more registrants than last year) and top 3 in my AG is goal #2. The fact that my AG is 19-30 chaps my behind, but that's neither here nor there. :p Luckily Miss Angie, just had a birthday kicking her out of my AG. I wouldn't want to have to fight her for an AG award (jk, she's much faster than me, there's no fighting too it :P)