The last time I ran under 9:00 pace was May.
Next weekend I’m running the Philly RnR Half and I don’t want to go into the race blindly and not know where I stand with my speed.
This past Spring (and many years before it) I was solely focused on speed. Then I switched gears entirely to train for a 50K. Going from fast running to slow running was easy, although I must admit my pride took a hit (and let’s keep in mind “fast” is a relative term here). But going from slow running back to fast running is frightening. I knew I had to make a date with fear this week to assess my speed – and I was scared to death.
I often read about ultra runners PRing in marathons done as training runs. These PRs are somewhat unexpected, as they focus little (or none) on speed work during ultra training. But the sheer volume of their training and the adaptions that come with LSD running enable these PRs. Also, since these marathons are merely a preparation for their ultra, they go into the race with little expectation. It’s just another training run to them so there is no pressure.
I am hoping I can reap the benefits of a summer spent slogging through mile after mile next Sunday. Do I think I’m in PR shape? No, but I hope to come close.
My half marathon PR is nothing to write home about – 1:47 at last year’s Philly HM. Given where I was speed-wise last Fall it should be closer to 1:45 or below.
OK, back to my date with fear (which kept getting delayed this week because of the humidity). The workout was 8 miles with 6 miles “fast”. I wanted to run between 8:00-8:20 pace and assess how this felt. Not entirely scientific (I should have worn my HR monitor) but good enough.
The 6 “fast” miles: 8:14, 8:20, 8:19, 8:08, 8:13, 8:03.
I’m happy I was able to run the last 3 faster than the first 3. Do I think I could keep this up for another 6+ miles? Probably not. My turnover felt awkward but that’s to be expected after a summer of slow running.
I got over the fear, I ripped off the Band-Aid…speed work is making a come back. I’m going to see how things go at RnR…no pressure, just enjoy the race.
I still have the Philly HM in November and that will be my goal race.