After the race that did not happen, I pushed again for a few days trying to make up for the fitness boost that I was planning to get from my first half marathon. On Saturday I ran Fresh Pond again after 4 hard miles, and experienced the benefits of having faster women around to push me. On Monday I I ran a great 5x2K @ 10K pace. On Tuesday I ran my fastest progression of this training cycle and today I ran my last quality workout, 2x15 min @ 10K pace. My legs are tired for sure, not sore, just tired and tight. I like this feeling as it gives me some tangible proof of hard work. There is a sense of relief that comes from knowing that I don't have any real hard workouts left. I have been dreading some of my hard runs lately (I can say this now because they are all done and in the bank). This is always a sign for me that I have gotten close to my limit. It is a nice feeling to have, because I can tell myself that I worked as hard as I could, and the voice inside my head that says things like you could have done that split a little faster, etc, is getting silenced.
I spent some time comparing my training this year with my training for my last HM in March 2011. I am MUCH faster. I have done MORE miles, MORE quality. I can't even compare really how much stronger I am on paper at this point. Sure, in 2011 I was into triathlons so I used to bike a lot of hours a week and swim a few times as well in addition to running, but if we think of specific running fitness, I am a much better runner now.
I don't know what this all means. Honestly, I don't know what my HM pace is. I will figure that one out as I run. I have a bit of a range in my head, but the race conditions, course (it has changed since 2011 and there are about 6 hills, with 3 of them in miles 9, 10 and 11) and the state of my legs will be the deciding factors. Regardless of what happens, I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey of the last 16 weeks. I am excited to switch things up after this race, rest a bit, go back to the gym for some strength training and some spinning, enjoy some spring and summer trail running, and then see if my mind is still set on running the Baystate marathon in the fall!
Things are changing for sure, but the feeling of accomplishment and pure joy I get at the end of a hard run is a constant that I know I will always cherish it.
Good luck to all the runners racing this weekend! I am SO excited thinking about all the great races ahead, and will be stalking you on Saturday and Sunday!
Building a clock
7 months ago