This Sunday I will be running my 5th half marathon ever. Remarkably I have gone from non-runner to marathoner in less than 3 years. However speed seems to be coming, excuse the pun, a bit more slowly. I’m hoping that my new e-coaching and consistent training will allow me to finally set a new half marathon PR. Over my past 4 half marathons my finish time has fallen in a narrow range from my first half marathon at Disney – 2:44:15 – to my fastest finish time of 2:36:41. This time I hope to go a bit faster.
When I was in Florida over the weekend, I had the opportunity to meet my running hero and coach, Mr. Jeff Galloway. I was truly amazed by his enthusiasm as well as his kindness. He took the time to answer our running questions, despite a forming line. He was my hero before we met and now he has been elevated even further!
I email Jeff every week with my training update and any questions. This week I gave him a summary of my Tower of Terror race and was pleased to get his response. He thought I had run a smart race despite adverse conditions. He went on to say that the humidity actually increased throughout the race from a starting humidity of 80% to a high of 85%. Yuck. Just yuck.
I also asked for a race plan to try to achieve my goal of 2:30. Why did I pick 2:30? The McMillan formula suggests that my 8:48 Magic Mile time predicts a half marathon time of 2:22:03. The Galloway calculator predicts an even faster time of 2:18:20. I’m just happy to PR so I figured I’d go with the even 2:30.
Today I got my race plan. Mile 1-4 at 11:45 pace; mile 5-9 at 11:30; and mile 10 to finish whatever I can. I have SO many doubts! I’m starting at 11:45 pace and speeding up from there? My fastest half is slower than that. I’m not sure I can sustain that pace for 13.1 miles. What if I crash and burn? Really?
I know I can finish a half. And I know I’m better trained than ever before. But I just don’t know about this pace. He also has me using new run/walk intervals which is making me nervous. I’ve been using run30 sec/walk 30 sec pretty consistently (even during the race and my last 5K was at 12 min/mile pace in extreme conditions). For this race he suggests either run 60 sec/walk 30 sec or run 40 sec/walk 20 sec until mile 10 when I can move to a 3/1 ratio. I did run 60/walk 30 tonight and it was fine but I only went 2.32 miles. I’ll probably start with the shorter intervals and see…
I’ve never had so many doubts about a race. Which is very surprising since this is the best trained I’ve ever been. I finished Tower of Terror strong despite heat and humidity that made many people sick. But my pace was 13:12 not 11:30!
I’m trying not to let my brain interfere with my race and hopefully on Sunday I’ll come home with both a new medal and a new PR.