We’re in the home stretch now. Down to just a few hours before the last meaningful race of my season (actually, that might be a lie, we’ll see). This is the one I signed up for a month ago after a good race during the Army 10-miler. The sole goal of tomorrow’s race is to try and qualify for the 2008 New York Marathon, based on a half-marathon qualifying time. That means somehow pulling a 1:23:00 time out of my posterior. Which is a 6:20/mile average. Riiiight…I’ll get right on that.
So here’s where I stand on that seemingly less than wise endeavor. My previous medium/long distance pace during a race was the Army 10-miler, where I averaged 6:38/mile. Since then I did mixed training until the Marine Corps Marathon three weeks ago. After a 48 hour rest period, I focused my energy on hard tempo & interval training during the weekend and faster paced weekend medium distance runs (8-10 miles). Most of my interval training has been at 4:50-5:20/mile pace, and most of my tempo runs (5.5 miles usually) has been at 6:15-6:20 pace.
However, during that process I dinked my knee a bit and had to scale back some of the training last week and over last weekend. My knee feels mostly fine now – not 100%, but ‘good enough’. I do wish I was able to get in my planned 11-miler @ pace last weekend, but figured better safe than sorry. The knee is very mysterious to me, so I don’t mess with it.
With the temperatures on the day of the Army 10-miler pushing over 90*, and me thriving on cold weather days – I figure that gives me an advantage right there over the 10-miler time (tomorrow’s start temperature is supposed to be 36*). I know that by mile 10 or 11 it’s merely a matter of running another 10 minutes and then I’m home free (mentally anyway’s). The key there will be not bonking during that last few mile push. I’m hoping crowd energy will carry me through to the finish.
My ‘rough’ strategy is to go out a touch bit slower than goal pace (around 6:30-6:40) for the first mile, and then speed up. I know my body doesn’t respond well to hitting the pace hard instantly and I always pay for it later. I’d rather find myself at mile 12 with 20-30 seconds to makeup than at mile 8 bonking. I figure I can gut it out if I need to for the last mile or two.
I think that a more realistic time will be 1:25-1:27 – but I’m going to give my goal a go. If I don’t make the 1:23:00 cutoff – I won’t be upset. I have until June 1st to get a time in. And I’ll still have likely beat my previous Half-Marathon PR of 1:38 set back in March. Plus, I’m sure I’ll have tons of fun – cause that’s what running is really all about! (Ok, not exactly, but it sounded good)
Oh – and btw, WTF is up with the 7AM start (for both full and half)? I just noticed that. Seriously – 7AM? Not cool peoples, not cool.
If you’re up at the race and/or expo – shoot me a message via the contact thing on the right and I’ll be on look out for you. I’ll have my camera and can take any photos of peoples racing starting about 20-25 minutes after I finish.