I did it. I made it through my first pace workout of my Columbus Marathon training plan.
[insert sweaty picture of me, keeled over]
Wait a minute. I found one from another day. No more using your imagination!
The plan for this morning was 4 miles, with 2 miles at race pace. I have no idea what my race should be or even what I want it to be, which can be a bit of a problem when the schedule says "race pace." I ended up taking it slow for a mile, running not-so-comfortably hard for 2 miles and then finishing off with a "take it down" a notch mile. It was hot, I was sweaty and the run felt more than challenging thanks to my companion, Mark.
My splits: 9:48, 8:34, 8:40, 9:18.
Not so bad ... except, I don't think I'll be running the marathon at an 8:40 pace. I just won't. There's underestimating yourself and there's being realistic. I'm not in shape to run a half at an 8:40 much less a full.
So what shape am I in and what shape is it reasonable to expect I'll be in in 19 weeks? I don't know - and that's the problem. I don't want to set a time goal, per se, on the marathon. It's a fickle beast and with it being my first, there's so much that can happen on race day. However, it is important to have goals and even more so when you are planning to incorporate speedwork into your plan (which #TLAM does).
I decided to call on my old pal, the McMillan Running Calculator, and put myself through the paces - literally - to see what I could come up with.
I first started with my most recent half - the Martian Invasion in April - where I finished in 2 hours, 27 seconds. According McM, I should be able to finish 26.2 in 4:14, an average pace of 9:42. I'd be pretty happy with a 4:14 but even my crappiest of runs are in the 9:40-9:50 range. I can't imagine completing a pace run like today's at that rate.
I got a little optimistic (or a lot) and decided to try my half-marathon PR - 1:54:12. McM predicted a marathon time of 4:00:51, average pace of 9:12. It seems a bit insane to train for that kind of time the first go but running my middle miles at 9:12 seems a bit more manageable than keeping to a 9:42. However, tempo intervals would be challenging with splits between 8:15 and 8:32.
And then there's the arbitrary - somewhere in the middle. I gave my best time for the marathon as 4:07, which would be an average pace of 9:26. Tempo intervals would be in the 8:27-8:45 range, doable considering today's run.
I have to say, after all that number nonsense, I am still a bit inclined to go by feel. I think there's so many variables that McM can't include, i.e. the fact that any best time I have is nearly 2 years old; that I run with a stroller 90 percent of the time; and I'll have the aid of my super speedy husband for part of this training cycle. I plan to comb through "Train Like a Mother" tonight, after BODYPUMP practice, to see if it offers any insight.
So, in sum, I basically just worked out a bunch of stuff in my head and subjected you to my word vomit. Quite kind of me, don't you think?