Following my training schedule (for once), I met with my running group Tuesday night at the usual time. It was slightly cool out with a pretty good breeze. I started my run like I usually do, towards the back of the group. I tend to be the slowest person on the run, so instead of being trampled, I just hang toward the back. My goal was to finish 6 miles in under 75 minutes. Even though this wasn’t my “pace” run week, I wanted this run to at least come in under my goal time. I tried to picture my run as if I was running my half marathon.
I started out with miles 1-2 as the warm up. I started to hit my groove around mile 3 and ran a comfortable pace (about 12:30) through mile 5. I picked it up for mile last mile and came in around 11:45. As I was coming to the end of my last mile, I saw two male members of my running group waiting at the bottom of the bridge for me. Usually I finish my run about the time everyone else does because I run a mile or two less than them. This time I ran the full 6 mild route and they were concerned about me. It’s dark by the time I finish the run and since I’m so slow, I’m always the last one. I thought it was so nice that they stayed and waited for me to make sure I got back safe.
My race strategy is a little different and strange than what most runners do. Most of the time the strategy is to warm up the first few miles, relax the middle miles and then attack the last miles. I know that doesn’t work for me. I start slacking during the middle miles because it is too big of a chunk for me to relax during. My strategy for my next half is this: warm-up miles 1-3, run an easy pace miles 4-6, pick it up miles 7-8, run an easy pace miles 9-11, kick it into high gear the last 2.1 miles. Yes, it does seem that I may kill myself during miles 7-8, which is barely halfway through the race BUT I am one of those recovery runners. I can push myself for a few miles and recover during a few additional miles with no problem. My problem during a half marathon are those miles that are just passed the halfway point, but not to the almost done point. I start feeling hungry, tired and bored and the goal of finishing just seems so far away. I am attempting this new plan to see if I can kick my middle miles in the butt without killing myself.
Overall, I had a great run and can’t wait to pace my Tuesday run next week!