Friday, March 19, 2010

Ides of March

Were a few days ago...

I didn't feel like making the title '1 month' and my imagination is not up to much this morning.

After 71 degrees on Wednesday, 65 yesterday, we're meant to be getting 12 inches of snow today. Spring in Colorado.

Today does mark the 1 month to go to Boston mark. Not wanting to tempt fate, but so far so good on the training front. I've been able to follow the Pfitz plan without much more than general wear and tear injuries. Nothing that's really stopped me getting out there. I've been averaging around 70 miles/ week for the last couple of months.

I ran a warm up race last weekend. The 'Boulder Spring Half Marathon'. Conditions were far from perfect. Similar to today, after great weather leading up to it, the race day was low 30s, with a wind from the north that threatened to bring snow. I'd signed up hoping to PR, but when I saw the course profile - climbing 300 feet over the first 6 miles, I wasn't so sure.

The massive stretch goal was 1.25 to get the 'A Wave' for Chicago locked up. Once I saw the course profile I realized that would never happen. It would be almost a 7 minute PR and with the hills and gravel footing it would be as likely as winning the powerball.

The stretch goal was sub 1.30, which would get me guaranteed entry to the New York marathon next year. I'd run a good MP run the previous weekend which suggested this might be possible.

The 'C' goal was a PR - beat 1.31.43 that I'd set the previous August.

The plan was to go out slow, and then start ramping it up. The best laid plans of mice and men... the gun went, and so did I. So much for building up. With the adrenaline I didn't notice the uphill for a while, but by the 5th mile with the wind squarely in my face it was having an impact. At the half way point I checked the watch. 45.30, so already 30 seconds behind the goal for 1.30. Fortunately the hard work was behind us. Now we were mostly downhill with the wind at our backs. Mile 8 was run in 6.15, and the next few miles were easily under target pace. Another uphill to the end, but I was running well. I crossed the finish line hardly out of breath - 1.28.55. A PR by almost 3 minutes on a tough hilly course and now guaranteed entry to the New York Marathon in 2011. Nice.

Putting things into perspective. That's a pace of 6 min 45 second miles. Less than a year ago I couldn't maintain that for 4 miles, let alone a half marathon. A nice confidence boost that the training plan is working and some reward for all the hard work. It also means under better conditions this summer I should be able to take more time off this new PR.

I'm supposed to have another warm up race this coming weekend but have decided not to go through with it. The weather looks iffy with snow forecast, and the half marathon gave me the confidence boost I needed. I'll run a couple of time trials instead as part of the normal plan, and just keep plugging away with the mileage.

One month until Boston !

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