I have been thinking a lot this week about my past races, good and bad. I remember my first half marathon, running it on an injured hip, finishing with a facial expression that Chris read as "I am in the worst pain ever". After that, I remember running with friends and not pushing myself nearly enough. Then a breakthrough race where I actually suffered and ended up running a 1:46, slow by my current standards, but a PR by over 5 minutes at that point in time. It's been about 3 years since my first half marathon, and I have gotten so much faster. Sometimes I wonder if I am getting closer and closer to my physiological limit. Other times I wonder whether I should try to take baby steps with my training, rather than huge jumps, like I have been doing this training cycle. I have come to believe that the body needs time to adjust to a certain pace, a time that is longer than the typical 2-3 months training cycle. But most often I realize that I am not racing hard enough, early enough. I read an article today about pacing in a race. The author talked about how she starts out fast and then she just hangs out. She said that if she starts slower, than she settles into a pace that is slower than her actual ability. A pretty fast blogger I follow talks about how if at the half point of a race she does not feel like quitting, she is not running fast enough. Unless it is a 5K, I never get to that point, which makes me thing that I may be getting closer to my physiological limit, but not to my psychological limit, my true ability to suffer and hurt in a race.
I am going to try hard to have a good race on Sunday. Here is what are the elements that would allow me to feel like I had a good race:
1. Starting the race warmed up (1-2 slow miles).
2. Starting the first mile slower than HM PR, seeing how that feels, and taking it from there.
3. Hanging out with the hurt for at least 10 miles.
4. Hanging out with the real hurt from mile 10 to the finish.
5. Hanging out with pukie (sp?) not earlier than mile 10, but surely for mile 13.
6. Racing with an average HR over 175, more like 180 (I will not check HR during the race).
7. Not giving negative thoughts power, letting them flow by.
If I manage to do 1-7, I am going to be a happy camper regardless of the result. It's going to be 30 degrees and windy on Sunday, and we are running over 5 miles by the Ocean. I am pretty nervous for a half, but also excited to see what I can do.
Building a clock
7 months ago