My next half marathon, the Council Bluffs Gambler, is this Sunday! I ran it last year, and it was pretty miserable. (You can read the recap here.) Part of it was due to the weather, and part of it was due to being under trained. Hopefully this year proves better in both of those areas!
However, running half marathons 3 weeks apart (I ran the Lincoln half on May 1st) has proposed a bit of a conundrum. My recovery, preparation, and taper have all kind of mushed together. I've only run a handful of times since the Lincoln half, and with 1 week to go until the Gambler, I wasn't sure what to do!
I consulted my friend, Kelly, who is a stellar runner. He has qualified for Boston 3 out of 3 times, and just ran a sub-3 hour marathon in Lincoln! Sure enough, he had some great advice. His suggestion was:
- Mon - long, slow run (8 miles)
- Tue - easy run
- Wed - 5 mile tempo at race pace
- Thurs - rest
- Fri - easy
- Sat - rest
- Sun - race
Although this sounds great, I didn't tell him that I can't remember the last time I ran 5 times in 1 week...and I'm not about to start right before a race! So I just scratched the 2 easy runs. I decided a long run would help me mentally prepare, "See, you can run this far!", and a tempo run would help me physically prepare by reminding my legs what race pace feels like.
Tonight was a gorgeous night. Kate had football practice at the park, so I tagged along and tackled my long run. (See what I did there...football + tackle ) I set out for an 8 mile run at about a 9:00 pace. A 9:00 pace is by no means slow for me, but I felt good and wanted that extra confidence boost. I accidentally calculated my route wrong, and was still a mile from the car when my Garmin hit 8 miles. Woops! It's ok, I still made it.
Total - 9 miles, 8:47 pace
- Mile 1 - 8:18 (so much for a warm up!)
- Mile 2 - 8:31
- Mile 3 - 9:02
- Mile 4 - 9:13 (hill of doom)
- Mile 5 - 9:05
- Mile 6 - 9:00
- Mile 7 - 8:56
- Mile 8 - 8:31
- Mile 9 - 8:26
I sped up at the end because I was running past the football team and I wanted to impress the ladies.
Well, at least one of them.
I felt a little tight in my hamstrings, so I made sure to get in a good stretch afterwards.
Oh, and check this out! I don't know if my ponytail was higher than usual, if it was windy, or if I had an extra spring in my step, but my braid was bouncing all over the place. I tried wrapping it up in a bun and pinning it with my (one) bobby pin, but it was too heavy. Finally, I just tucked the end of it into my headband and - voila - it worked perfectly! What an easy solution for such an annoying problem.
So, I'm starting to feel pretty good about my upcoming race. I think I have a chance at another PR...if the course is as flat as I remember! I'll aim to do a tempo run on Thursday and just rest up otherwise. Sunday morning will be here before we know it!