ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
[personal profile] ilanarama
I've become wary about registering for races very far in advance, if I don't have to; usually entries are nonrefundable and nontransferable, and in the past five years I've DNS'ed enough races that I could fly to the east coast and back on those lost entry fees. Even though my back is apparently healed (according to the MRI) I still have a sore knot in my glute that makes my hamstring ache, so I was dithering about this spring's Canyonlands Half Marathon, which is on March 12th this year.

Last year I ran the 5-miler instead, as I was still pretty injured, and not running enough weekly volume (or long enough runs) to be able to run the half. Even though I not only won my age group but came in as first masters (over 40) woman, I felt that if I couldn't run the half, I didn't want to go at all. My placement had been due less to my nominal speed than to the fact that other than the top overall racers, it's not a very competitive race. And I just haven't been doing much fast running - I would probably be running only a very slightly faster pace for 5 as for 13.1!

But the Canyonlands race organization kept sending me email, and my running has been solid - 35-40mpw except for the multiple weeks I was traveling and/or sick and didn't run more than 6 miles, which bring down my average, unfortunately, to 32mpw. Finally they lured me with a $15 discount, so I registered both myself and Britt - Britt for the 5M, which he's done for the past several years, and me for the half. I figured, if I can't run the half, I can drop down to the 5M, and we will bring our mountain bikes and have a nice weekend in Moab regardless. (We've got a couple of major mountain bike rides planned in May and June, so need to get in shape for those!)

I have a checkered history with this race, which I've run five times. The first time I ran it, in 2010, I ran 1:37, a PR which stood for years, until I broke it at the Other Half in fall 2013. In 2012, after running a then-PR of 3:29 at the Houston Marathon in January, I couldn't overcome a cold, a calf strain, and a windy, hot day, and ran 1:45:50, my personal worst half ever since I started seriously racing in late 2009. (Race report is here.) Other years have ranged between 1:38:28 and 1:40:25. Obviously, I'm not going to come anywhere close to my usual mark here. But I'm hoping to beat that worst time.

I'd also like to beat my 1:44:33 at the Thirsty Thirteen in August. I was, I think, much less prepared for that race, and I'd been actually expecting to only run about a 1:49, but it's a very downhill course. On the other hand, it's also at or above my home elevation, and Canyonlands is about 2500 ft. below Durango.

In preparation, I've been increasing my long run (up to about 10.5 miles now - I hope to get it to 13 in two weeks) and have just added in HMP-paced tempo runs. My first tempo wasn't so great, as it's hard to get the body adjusted to the idea of running fast when all it's done is slow, but the second, yesterday, was much better: 6.3 miles with some strides and then two miles at my HM heartrate, "comfortably hard". The two tempo miles averaged 7:46, which is better than I was hoping for. But while when I'm running 50mpw, I can take my 6-mile tempo pace and aim at that for a half, with less mileage and topping off at only a 3-mile tempo next week, I can't make those assumptions. I hope I can hold faster than 8 minute pace, which would be a 1:45. By how much, I don't know. We shall see in a bit less than three weeks!

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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Ilana

August 2017

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

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