Since I've been terribly remiss in updating this blog, I thing a quick update on what I'm doing these days is in order.
I ran the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon in June. It was a PR for me, by 11 minutes, but it was nowhere near the performance I was hoping for. I started out on-pace, but just lost it halfway through the race, and finished about 8 minutes slower than I'd hoped and trained for.
There were probably a number of reasons for this. Part of it was, I think, just mental--psyching myself out and convincing myself I couldn't maintain that pace. But, given that I was clearly dehydrated and exhausted by the end of the race--so much so that several volunteers asked me if I was ok after I crossed the finish line, and I only said "yes" because I wanted to avoid an IV--there were physical factors at work as well. I thought I had hydrated well, but it was not enough. I'd also gotten very little sleep the night before, which didn't help. I don't know--maybe it was just an off day, too. All I know is that it wasn't the race I expected.
So. I took a month off from training, and just ran shorter distances and worked on speed. Then I convinced my husband to sign up for a half-marathon with me (his first!), and I picked a challenging training plan--the Ryan Hall Half Marathon Plan from Runners' World.
I'm in in Week Six of the plan now, and it's been doing its job--kicking my butt. The long intervals in weeks four and six (1 x 2 mile @ 10k pace, 2 x 1 mile @ 5k pace, 2 x 800 meters @ faster than 5k pace) were especially painful, and I'm so glad they're over!
The paces I'm running during training are based on a mile trial I ran a couple of weeks before starting the new plan. I ran the mile in 7:26, about 30 seconds faster than I ever have before. Mcmillan predicts a 1:59:02 half based on that time. Obviously, that isn't a guarantee (in case the Seattle race wasn't proof enough), but I've been basing all my training runs on those times, and have been able to keep the paces pretty easily most of the time. So, we'll see. I'll be thrilled with 2:05 or better. I know that cutting another 14 minutes off in one fell swoop is a lot to hope for. But I also know that the race in June really wasn't a good representation of my potential.