After three full training cycles, this will be the first time I’ve put a half-marathon (well, any race distance) test right in the middle. After four months away from the starting line, my legs are like uh, finally! Sunday’s test of choice? The inaugural Navy-Air Force Half Marathon (added on to the Navy 5-miler).
The actual tests themselves…
1. Race Pace – When I registered for MCM, the 3:30 number came to mind and set up camp. I knew it would require some extra work, but all would come together. A spring racing season would check all the systems, and make sure we were set up for success.
My brain can remember a solid goal (3:30 – 3:30 – 3:30) but not always how we’ll get there. I’ve checked pace charts at least once a month since clicking “register”, yet never seem to remember that magic number. To prep for this weekend, I checked in again yesterday.
8:00 min/mile pace – flat = 3:29:45
….no 7’s? Really? Oh. We’re good! (And the head-math will be so easy!)
Yes, I can run an 8:00 min/mile average for Sunday’s half. That’s not the goal. I want to race and see what it takes to make things hurt, and at what point that happens. Sunday’s goal – 1:38:xx .
2. Timing / Negative Splits – This is normally not my issue – if anything, I start out too cautiously and end quickly – but last year’s MCM handed my negative-splitting legs an ego check. We’re working on that.
3. No Garmin, No tunes – The rules say no music, and my ears are used to the silence anyway (exception: long runs). But Mr. G has been on the fritz for a few months now, and I’m lazy. I don’t like to mail things or call “Customer Support”, and he’s just been sitting around the apartment with a blank screen.
I’m almost liking the Garmin-free (no pace-beeping) runs, and just using the old-fashioned MapMyRun + stop-watch method to keep things in check. Almost. On most days.
Then, I realized (this week) that I’ll have no Virtual Race Partner. No way to check what kind of cushion I have or time I need to make up. I’m shaking my fist in the air at the fact that a small piece of technology wrapped around my wrist could be so useful!
But, there was the Garmin-Fail of 2012 at the National Half. (Good times, G) So, it may take some more distracting head-math and clock-watching, but I think we’ll survive.
Navy-Air Force Half, 1:38:xx, tech-free and goin’ strong.
What’s on your goals/test list this weekend?