Two days to Staten Island Half-Marathon
Sunday morning, I’m running my first race since May, and my first half-marathon since March. It’s only my second half overall, making it tough to set reasonable goals and decide on an early pace.
Back in March, I had been training regularly for about six weeks, in which time I logged roughly 235 miles pre-race. Now, I’ve been running regularly for about eight weeks, in which time I’ve logged roughly … 230 miles. Obviously not the same weekly volume. Another major difference is that I’ve done next to zero speedwork this time around, whereas in February and March, I did two good interval sessions and two or three solid tempo runs.
The earlier training cycle got me to a 1:36:53, about a 7:25/mile pace. That was better than I had expected going in; I think underestimated the benefit of running amidst a mass of humanity, much of which was going even faster. If I had that race to do over again, on the same training, I have no doubt I could do better–my splits were all over the place and I made no effort to run tangents, so my Garmin said I covered about 13.35 miles–more like a 7:15/mile pace.
It’s clear that my recent training is not as good as it was seven months ago. On the flip side, I have more race experience and an additional 800 miles in my legs.
Where does that leave me? I’ve accepted that I don’t have a great shot at going under my 1:36:53. If I ran it as a typical Sunday long run, I’d land at about 1:55. There’s a lot of territory in between.
My foremost goal for Sunday is to pace myself conservatively. Everyone knows they should go out slow, and then everyone goes out with the pack…way too fast. I’m not going to do that. I’m aiming for a first mile between 7:45 and 8:00, a second mile no faster than 7:30. After that, I’ll have to see how my body holds up at that pace. It leaves me plenty of time to clock 7:15 miles and come in around 1:37 … or settle in closer to an 8:00 pace and forget about beating my previous time.
Obviously, I have plenty to think about. A reasonable secondary goal would be to stop thinking about it already. 🙂