I don't want to PR the half marathon.
It sounds weird, right? Many times we go into a training cycle with the hope of getting stronger, faster and nailing a certain time. I want to do those things, of course. I want to get stronger. I want to get faster. And, when I toe the line in Carmel on April 16, I want a certain time. I want to run 1:59.
My PR, though, is 1:54:12. I ran that time 5.5 years ago and came within 1:30 of it in September 2014, when I was 12 weeks pregnant with Si. It was hard work to get that fast (relatively) – I ran 30+ miles a week, my log full of long tempos and intervals. I felt pushed to the limit and like I was breaking barriers. I set PRs in the 5K and 10K that helped me believe a half marathon best was possible. It was a type of training that I was ready for, and it was the only way I could tackle it.
Now, life with two kids, I'm not ready for that and as such, I haven't expected super great things with my running. I've been plugging away albeit picking up a challenge here and there along the way. So color me surprised when I crossed the mats at a local, low-key 5K on Saturday in a time of 25:17 – two seconds off my PR.
Later that night, Mark told me that I was definitely going to PR in Carmel. I wanted to shrug him off but part of me wondered if it would be wrong to call him a nut job and ignore him.
The race was part of a long run sandwich – log miles before the start, run the race and then keep going until you hit your mileage goal. The plan called for 12 miles with the mid-4 at race pace (9:00-9:09), making the long run sandwich an ideal option.
The first 5 miles went great. I ran with the girls for four, hitting about 10 minutes/mile for the first three and then picking it up to 8:50 for miles 4 and 5. I felt good and loose by the time I hit the start and told myself that I just had to run two more fast miles and then I could jog it into the finish. My running partner, Karen, was also participating and thought she'd like to be around 8:30 pace for the race. I figured that I'd keep her in my sights and chug away.
Which is what I did. Except, she ran more like 8:05 and I averaged 8:09 (officially).
I'm not going to give you a blow-by-blow of the race – don't even think I could if I wanted to – but a few notes. It was hard, and I definitely was working. However, I know that there were 3 seconds that could have easily been shaved. The park is known for its hills, and I nearly called "trail hill" on the second go-around. It was windy, and I definitely tried to draft off some of the high school guys who weren't keen on letting me pass them any way.
I'm not getting ahead of myself, mind you. I'm going to continue training for Carmel as I have. Goal pace will be 9:00 to 9:09 and training paces will be based on that. But, I'm not going to hold myself back either.
The week, in running:
Tuesday: 5.2 miles, tempo
Thursday: 5.1 miles, hilly
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 12 miles total