Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Carmel Half Marathon Training {Week 4}

I am going to let you in on a secret – one that might surprise you.

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).

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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.

The course, two loops at a local park, and I know I finished the first lap in less than 12:30. According to my Soleus, my splits were actually pretty consistent between 7:55 and 8:05. But as with most GPS devices, it had me finishing the 5K distance in 24:4X and finishing the race around 3.2 miles. To break 25 in the 5K is a definite goal for the year, and it was rad to think I'm close.

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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

1 comment:

  1. Woo hoo! Congrats on being so close to your 5K PR! You can totally break 25:00 this year! And it'll be good to stay the course and see how Carmel goes :)