I’m three weeks out from my goal race, the Houston Half Marathon on January 15th. My training has been going well, I’ve made a big mileage push the last few weeks sticking around 70 miles. My workouts have gone well, although there have been less, and I’ve been dealing with some minor injuries. I’m just trying to hold it together for the race. It’s hard to know when you’re really ready. I mean, I’ve run some good indicator workouts (4x2mi) that point to high fitness, but I’ve been in good shape and been disappointed before.
I’ve been aiming at this 1:15 half marathon goal for 2 years now. My first attempt was in Rock n Roll Arizona Half in 2010. I made it 4 miles at 5:45 and then promptly died. 3 weeks later I made it about 8 miles at Surf City, before getting a little carried away cheering for a friend running the marathon and wrecking my breathing. I still hobbled in at 1:18:57, after some walking, disappointed. My training for Boston then became number one priority and I started putting in big weeks, not worrying about my half marathon time. After running Boston, my motivation dipped, having attained my original running goal. In June I ran my PR of 1:17:24 at Rock n Roll San Diego off of my huge Boston base. My training was only so-so and I wasn’t really motivated until I ran a surprise 16:19 5k on the track and realized what kind of shape I was in. Rock n Roll San Jose was about 2 months away so I kicked back into gear and had some of the best training sessions of my life. I ran a 35:15 10k in a tempo run as part of a 7 miler. I was expecting big things until my hip injury happened and wrecked my fitness.
Since getting healthy I’ve slowly and carefully rebuilt my base. Initially I couldn’t run 2 days in a row, so it took a long time before I was back up to 6/7 days a week of running. I’m finally back to being able to do doubles again. I’m having a hard time comparing last years training to this year’s training. I’ve done some things differently and my tempo runs have only been about the same as last year. My intervals, however, are off the charts better. I don’t know what it means. What I do know is that I’m going to run Houston as well as I can and if I blow up, I’ll give it another go at Surf City 3 weeks later.
A: Run sub-1:15, collect glory.
B: Run 1:15 and change (the most likely scenario), only collect minor glory
C: Run a PR, sub-1:17:24. I’ll be moderately disappointed with this one.
If I don’t run a PR and have another race like Silver Strand, it won’t be pretty. At least I’ve got a backup in Surf City a few weeks later. Ideally, I’d like to run Houston well so I can run Surf City without any pressure. I’ll run completely by feel, probably a little conservatively and enjoy the fruits of my labor. So we’ll see. 3 weeks out, still have a few workouts left (including the Bumble Bee 5k next Wednesday, if my iffy hamstring will allow it).