Tomorrow morning I will run the MORE Magazine Women’s Half Marathon for the 5th time. I think it’ll be half marathon #15 but I may have missed one or two in my counting…
I love this race. It’s usually a beautiful spring day in Central Park and tomorrow’s weather forecast is consistent with that history (the year before my first time running this race the weather was awful with rain and cold). I have PR’ed this race 3 out of 4 years that I ran it. And I had high hopes of getting another PR this year when I registered. Then winter happened…
Anyone who lives on Planet Earth is probably aware that this was a particularly cold and snowy winter. To save money I quit my expensive gym in December and didn’t join an inexpensive gym until the winter was almost over. The treadmill in my basement died and would have cost almost as much as a new treadmill to repair. While I know many people who were able to get outside and run in single digit degree weather, I was not one of them.
This winter also represented a huge transition in my personal life. Life is full of change and we can go with the flow or get stuck in our own thinking. The last 6 months have required me to learn how to move forward and find a new normal for myself. It hasn’t been an easy time and there have been lots of ups and downs. The future is coming and I think I’m finally getting ready to meet it head-on. Change is hard and that impacted my motivation and my drive. “Now is the winter of our discontent” could definitely apply to this past winter. But I also found this quote, “No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” And with the coming of spring I am re-finding my mojo.
My training has not been ideal. After finishing the Dopey Challenge in January, I basically didn’t run for almost 2 months. My come-back has been spotty. I managed one run over 10 miles – a really pleasant 12.5 milers on a lovely new trail (for me) 2 weeks ago. I used a conservative run 15 sec/walk 30 sec ratio and finished with a 13 min/mile average pace. I felt good afterwards and felt hugely encouraged. I have done a few runs on hilly courses but haven’t done the hill training necessary to kick butt on this hilly course. I have done no speed work. And barely got in my mid-week maintenance runs. But I will finish.
My strategy for this race is to start slowly and conservatively. I know I can easily maintain a 13 min/mile pace because I did it in training. So I will start around 12:30 min/mile and see how I’m feeling. I’m planning the same super conservative ratio – probably run 15 sec/walk 30 sec – for the race. This will work really well on the hills. Instead of walking up the BIG hill in Harlem, I can run for 15 sec without trashing my legs or bringing up my heart rate too much. Hopefully on the second lap I’ll feel good enough to pick up the pace a bit.
I love racing. The adrenaline rush. The feeling of camaraderie amongst the participants. The support of the spectators. The joy of crossing the finish line. I’m hoping that re-claiming that feeling will get me ready to start training again. I want to work on speed for shorter distance races over the summer before tackling another half marathon over Labor Day weekend.
Tomorrow is the first day of the future…

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