A couple of weeks ago, I started looking back at past training cycles. This is one of my favorite pastimes (I'm so lame, I realize). I was thinking about goal times for the Brookings half marathon, and had a hard time wrapping my mind around a sustainably hard pace for 13.1 miles, as one does.
I started looking back at my training from 2014 for the Brookings half marathon, when I ran a 2:02 and was training for a sub 2 half. I was shocked to see that my training wasn't anything special. A 2:02 half seems so fast right now, that I expected my training to be really strong, fast speed work, good mileage, strong long runs. Um... not so much. There were some decent speedwork sessions, and some long runs. A lot of weeks with one run. A lot of long runs that said, "really hard, walk breaks, blah...etc." And apparently I raced two half marathons on back to back weekends. And still ran a 2:02. My long runs are slightly speedier, but WAY more consistent both in pace and frequency. My tempo runs have more miles in them, roughly the same pace. My speedwork has faster paces at longer intervals.
January 2014 60.5 miles 2017 72.4 miles (slightly sub 11 v. 10:38 pace)
February 2014 80.2 miles vs. 2017 41.8 miles (slightly sub 11 v. 10:36 pace)
March 2014 52.2 miles vs. 2017 89.5 miles (10:45 v. 10:27)
April 2014 65.7 miles vs. 2017 110ish miles (10:20 v. 10:40ish)
The cool thing about looking back on this data is to give me confidence in what my training has been like in this cycle. Which might be one of my strongest cycles outside of marathon training (which is where my current half PR exists). Hopefully I'll be able to remember this when I'm running the race next weekend and it feels hard.
Here's to doing hard shit.
or something like that.