Friday, November 22, 2013

Annapolis Half Marathon Prelude

Welcome to race-day eve! It’s just like Christmas Eve, except instead of staying up late eating cookies and waiting for Santa, you eat sweet potatoes for lunch and go to bed early.

Just to make this race-day eve even more fun, I woke up in the middle of the night Thursday with the early signs of a cold. Perfect timing! I spent yesterday mainlining hot peppermint tea and zinc lozenges to fight the cold off.

(And 100% cacao (sugar free) chocolate, which is awesome, cold or no cold.)

Seems to have worked, and after several naps yesterday evening, I slept through the night and woke up mostly better this morning.

So assuming that I can continue to chug tea and knock this virus away for good, it’s just under 24 hours to race time for the Annapolis Half Marathon, and I feel alright about how everything is going. I even managed to nail my pre-race pace workout on Wednesday - 2 miles easy, 3 miles at goal race pace, 1 mile easy.

Cheating? Maybe, but I have a history of overdoing my race week pace workouts, leaving me with some residual fatigue come race day. So for Myrtle Beach in February, I did it on the treadmill to force myself to stay on pace and not go one bit faster. That race went well, so this time around, I’m sticking with what works.

As evident from the above photo, in theory, my goal time for this race was an 8:00/mile pace, or 1:45. However, I had a couple of not-so-speedy 8k racess and tempo runs, and am not confident about holding that pace for 13.1 miles right now. Maybe with another month of training, but I don’t have another month of training, so I’m going to shoot for what seems reasonable right now. With that, the plan:

A goal: Under 1:50. Holding an 8:23 average seems doable, and not like something that would leave me crawling miles 9-13. If I go closer to 1:45 than 1:50 - great. If I go 1:49:59.99999 – great.

B goal: PR (1:53:30). I went a 1:52 flat in the second half of the Myrtle Beach Marathon, so I should at least be able to PR.

C goal: Under 2 hours. I mean, I did a 13 mile training run in under 2 hours two weeks ago, so over 2 hours would be a pretty sad day.

Who’s ready to race! Yee-haw!

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 11-17: Taper, Part 1

Last week started the first bit of taper for the Annapolis Half Marathon, and the volume reduction was most notable in the week's long run, which wasn't even close to cracking double digit mileage.

It was perfect timing, because I spent almost all of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at a judging clinic in Colorado.
Scenery, A+, training opportunities, D-.

Luckily, I got the "long" run in early Friday morning before flying out.

Monday: Rest day, with a long walk and a painful 90 minute sports massage.

Tuesday: 6.14 mile fartlek run (6x1 minute hard-2 minutes easy) and 25 minutes of strength training in the morning, then 4100 yards of swimming with DCRP Masters in the evening.

Wednesday: A 5.4 mile track workout in the evening, with 4x1200 building from half marathon pace to 10k pace (6:00-5:46-5:41-5:41).

Thursday: Easy 45 minute spin on the bike trainer in the morning, 4200 yards of swimming with DCRP Masters in the evening.

Friday: A seven mile run in the morning before flying out to Colorado.

Saturday: 12 hours of synchronized swimming judge’s updating in Colorado. Used breaks to get in 25 minutes of body weight strength training and 2000 meters of swimming in this beautiful pool at the Olympic Training Center.

Sunday: Rest day. More classroom time and a (very) late-night flight home.