So it's official: my bib number for the Madison Half Marathon is 7834...I got the email yesterday and immediately started to actually get nervous about the race! I haven't talked much about it in this blog just because it's been so overshadowed by track season haha. I think what's weird about this race is that I haven't specifically trained for it - I mean, by training for the 5K on the track, and running 40-50 miles a week, including up to 14 mile long runs, I guess I've kind of trained for it, but not on purpose...its just kind of something that happened along the way to something else. Not that that means I'm not excited or I don't have goals for it, because oh, I do. The last time I ran a half I had NO idea what I was doing, lots of the mileage I ran over the summer was super slow with a track camp I coached, and while I was all excited about "doubling" for the first time in my career, I really didn't get in that many quality miles. So at that race, my goal was to run 8 minute pace, but it was really humid, I got super dehydrated (getting chills when its 80 out? never a good thing), and I just don't think I was quite in shape to do what I thought I was ready to do - and I finished in 1:48:46 - mostly thanks to my WTC friend Nick dragging me along and telling me that I had better run faster (He hadn't 'trained' for the race and decided to pace me instead of trying to race it...needless to say, an 8:18 pace wasn't much of an effort for him, But I definitely appreciated him being there!). But anyway, at that time, I pretty much just wanted to finish decently. I was pretty much a newbie to distance running, having only 1 'real' year of cross country and running the 800 in track under my belt, and training-wise I really had no idea. So obviously, 2 years later, I have some new goals. :)
My ultimate goal: to break 1:40. Don't ask me why I picked this as my goal...it just kind of seemed like a logical 'break' to shoot for. This calls for a 7:37 pace. Given that my usual long run distance during the season has hovered somewhere around 7:45, this isn't completely unreasonable, especially when you consider that every day/night before the long run, I had raced, drank, or both (what can I say, I'm a college student! I had to celebrate those PRs :)) and during an actual race, the adrenaline is always flowing! But at the same time, I'm not completely confident that I can do that, since it's been a looooong season. So backup goal: 1:42..which is 7:46 pace, and I think I'd be happy with that. All in all, if I PR (and if I don't, I'll probably cry) I won't be sad about the race. But I would really love to put up a time that I'm happy with! Plus, it's my last race as a 21-year-old! Not that that means much, but getting my goal time would be a great birthday present to myself. :)
Speaking of goal pace - today I went out for a 5 mile run that I was going to TRY to run at goal pace - actually, the goal was to run the first half mile super easy (from my house to a mile marker on the bike path so I could actually keep track), run 4 miles at goal pace, and a half mile easy back. My grade for myself? FAIL!! Here's how my splits panned out:
.55 miles - 3:45 (6:49 pace)
Mile 1 - 7:26
Mile 2 - 7:25
Mile 3 - 7:14
Mile 4 - 7:29
.55 miles - 3:38 (6:36 pace)
Total: 5.1 miles, 36:59 (7:16 pace)
Ahh! Not that I'm opposed to running fast, but every time I TRIED to slow down, I actually sped up! The 3rd mile, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (the Hawaiian ukelele guy) came on my ipod, and I thought I was really trying to relax and sloooow down since I knew my first 2 miles were fast....and look how that turned out! I REALLY have to try to not get all crazy and go out in like 7 flat on Sunday because that's just not going to end well. I have to controoool the adrenaline. But how am I supposed to do that when I can't even control my pace on a training run? I think I was just happy because for the first time in a week, my legs felt GOOD! I've been feeling really weak and sluggish lately, so it was nice to actually not feel crappy for once...maybe the time off last week was good for me after all! Plus, I know I'm going to get excited at 2.5 miles, because I get to run past my house! I got some ipod speakers for graduation, and I'm making a playlist so the BF can play them out my window for the runners...because who doesn't need a good pump up song when it's 7:20 am and you've still got 11 miles go to? I wish I could pinpoint exactly when I was going to be running by so he could have "Don't Stop Believin'" playing. :)
And on my one non-running related note of the day, today after work I went to the Sephora at the mall to redeem my gift card that I've had since Christmas and get my free birthday gift- double the fun! Who doesn't love shopping when it's technically free? I'm not a big makeup girl, but I've been searching for some natural looking blush and I found the perfect shade...plus buying expensive makeup on occasion makes me feel special! My birthday gift was a set of 3 little lip glosses, all in really pretty shades, and since I don't wear lip gloss that often I'm sure they'll last me awhile! Plus I got a free sample of some passionfruit-mango body scrub that smells amazing - if they had given it to me before I bought the blush, I might have bought some of that instead! :) I decided to save my Movin' Shoes gift card from the WTC girls for another day...I almost never get to shop for myself, so its fun to split it up. Then the BF and I went to the zoo - seriously, the best free activity EVER! The prairie dogs had babies, and they were absolutely adorable -sooo tiny! Also, there are always tons of little kids at the zoo, which after being on a college campus for 9 months (aka...no kids anywhere), is almost as much fun to watch as the animals!
Hmm, well I think this post is long enough. 4 easy miles on the schedule tomorrow, plus a mile with the BF - I'm trying to get him up to at least a whole mile without stopping in the next couple weeks. Yesterday we did a 'fartlek' thing - 3 minutes of running, 2 minutes walking. He actually was running pretty fast for the middle 2 intervals...I was so proud! It's a lot of fun running with him and he seems to like getting a taste of the running thing- since he's pretty much an honorary member of the WTC, he might as well! We're also making my favorite pre-race meal tomorrow - chicken parmesan...yum! I didn't want to make it on Saturday since the race is so early and I work until 7, I don't want to still be full from dinner when I wake up at some ungodly hour to get ready for the race. Luckily, thanks to working at 6 or 6:30 am every Monday for this whole semester, getting up really early isn't even a big deal for me anymore...thanks, puppies!
Time to get pumped!!