I have had a great week of running so far.
Yesterday I was tweeting back and forth with a local runner girl and I happen to go out to her blog and saw that she was racing a 5K this coming weekend. I have been looking to do a race in April, but since I'm going to be on vacation for two of the five weekends of this month, it's been hard to find a race. I had wanted to do the Athens half marathon last weekend, but I was waiting on some medical tests to come back before I made the commitment and I didn't have the answers in time. So that left me without a race this month. And since it's my goal to do at least 12 races this year, I really wanted to find one this month.
As I've mentioned before I'm following the "Train Less, Run Faster" plan for my half marathon in June. If I wanted to run a 5K this weekend, I was going to need to do my long run midweek. The plan was for 13 miles at half marathon pace plus 30 seconds per mile. I have decided that my race pace will be around a 7:50 for a 1:42ish half marathon. That would mean that this 13 miles would be at an 8:20 pace. Yikes! That's only a few seconds slower than I averaged in my last half marathon.
I started out running two miles around the neighborhood and had worked my pace down to an 8:18. It was fast and felt hard and I was wondering how I would hold that for a full 13 miles. Dave joined me for the next three miles and we got the pace down to an 8:16 average. Note, I like to set my Garmin for an overall pace for the full 13 miles. I like to work my way into a run and usually pick up the pace as I go along. But because it seems 9 miles seems to be my breaking point right now, I thought I would bag a little time in case I slipped off the pace later in the run.
For the last eight miles Dave joined me on his bike and I was able to run without a water pack. I love that. It's always around 6-7 miles that things start feeling good to me and I get in the zone. And I did. And before I knew it my watch was beeping at me to slow down (I had set it to be between 8:15 and 8:30 average). As I headed into the cold wind, I kept picking up pace. At the turn around, four miles left to run, I was down around an 8:10 or 8:11. Now with the wind at my back I was flying. With just over two miles to go I was at an 8:06 average and still feeling really good. I guess that month of running every day sure was good base training!
The last mile is uphill in our neighborhood. (I use the term uphill lightly. We don't live anywhere with true hills.) I was moving. By the time I finished, I had dropped the overall pace to 8:04. 13 miles in 1:44:55. BAM!
So it makes me wonder, could there really be a possibility at a half marathon PR this year?