It is time to start stalking the weather forecast and packing my running gear, because race day is just a few days away. It is such a relief to know that regardless of how amazingly or how poorly the half marathon goes, I have a nice training break coming up.
For my final week of training I put in just 35 miles of running. My not-quite-a-tempo-run was 6.3 miles at 8:01 pace on Wednesday. I was not feeling particularly confident about my race following this run because my goal pace is 7:37 and it was a struggle to break 8:00 this day.
My final long run, however, provided a solid boost of confidence. I ran the first 10 miles as a progression run with the YRC group run. I kept to my own pace for the first 3 miles then slowly started ratcheting up the pace and passing runners. I finally managed to catch the lead runners at a traffic light with about 3 miles to go. I let them set the pace for the final miles which were all squarely in the sub-8 range. It was challenging, but manageable. I ran an additional 2 miles on my own to cool down for a total of 12 miles.
- Set a new PR (currently 1:42:20)
- Break 1:40
- If all else fails: make it to the finish line for free beer!
My strategy will be similar to the strategy I used for Capital City last year. I plan to line up a bit behind the 1:40 pacers. I plan to stay conservative for the first 3-5 miles, then spend the rest of the race slowly picking up my pace, hopefully managing to catch and pass the 1:40 pace team.
My Worst/Best Idea Ever
I don’t have any race plans lined up for 2017. Which is absolutely crazy. After Saturday I will be training plan free almost an entire year. I’m still planning on the Disney World Marathon in January 2018, which means training starts again in September 2017. I know myself too well to believe I’ll make it a year without a training plan, but with school I’m just not sure what to sign up for.
I was checking out some marathon training books at the library and somehow ended up leaving with an ultra marathon book. I figured maybe sometime in the far, far future, but a little advance research never hurts. Then I Googled “Michigan ultra marathons” just to see what my options might be. I found a 50k on my birthday next year. As in January, just a few short months away. As in trying to train through my first semester of classes which I’ve already proven is quite difficult. Andplusalso: it is a trail race (never done one), it will be winter (hello, snow), and wasn’t a marathon hard enough (yes it was!). So many reasons to say no.
How amazing does 31 miles to celebrate my 31st birthday sound?