Today, in preparation for the upcoming Cowtown Half Marathon, I ran the second of two scheduled 13 mile runs. The first 13 mile run (my first ever) was two weeks ago, and I was eager to see what it would be like the second time out.
Typically I struggle with a new long distance the first time out, and then do much better the second time around. However, with 13 miles, I didn’t really struggle the first time out, even though the last half was run into a 14 mph wind that was gusting to 22 mph. I was curious to see how the second time at 13 miles would shake out. Of course, the purpose of the long run is not to compete against previous long runs, so I was really just looking to see how it felt to cover the distance again.
My goal was to run comfortably for most of the run, sticking with the pace prescribed in my training plan. I succeeded for the most part, not pushing the pace until the final two miles, which I ran at the pace that my training plan says is my half marathon pace (I thought it was more like my 10K pace). I also ran the same route as the first 13 mile run, but in reverse. This meant more hills in the second half, when I’d likely be tiring. I did this because I’ve neglected hill running lately, and I knew it would force me to keep the pace honest. It worked.
So here I am on Sunday afternoon, relaxing, recovering, and feeling good about where my fitness is for the upcoming half marathon. I’m still not sure if I’ll be able to hit the pace from my training plan, and I’m not sure I want to try, since this is my first half. You know everyone always says that the goal for the first time out should be to finish and have a good time—no time goals. We’ll see about that.
I’ve got one more interval workout—the hardest to date (5 x 1 mile; half mile jog recovery; 10 miles total, including warm up and warm down). I have one more hard tempo run (6 miles at tempo pace, 8 miles total), plus a shorter tempo run the week before the race. I also have two 14 mile runs. Every other run over the next 20 days will be easy, and somewhere between 4 and 6 miles. So there is still some improved fitness to be had.
20 days to go; see you at the finish line.
Sounds like you will be well prepared. Don't worry about meeting your training pace. The crowds will push you that extra bit needed if you are close.
Posted by Phil U on 2/8/2010 9:38:53 AM