One thing that's been different in my pre-marathon training month of base building is that I've done a weekend medium long run every week since the half: first eight miles, then nine, then 10 and 11 today. I'm set to start marathon training in two weeks and I'm also registered to run the Sugar Land Half-Marathon on March 3. I guess you could say that I'm sort of training for the half. I say "sort of" because I've been doing whatever I want every day with no speedwork or preoccupation with pace.
With the exception of the halves I've ran as part of marathon training, this is how I've always "trained" for halves. My half-marathon aficionado sister loves to give me a hard time about this, since I've used pretty much every half in the last year and a half as a workout to maintain fitness and not as a PR goal race.
And this is what I'm doing yet again with the SL Half. Sure, I'd like to eventually run a new PR and top my 1:45, but the desire to do that definitely isn't on par with my marathon PR goals. By the time June 1 rolls around, it will have been a year and a half since I ran a full marathon so that's definitely the prize I'll keep my eye on for the next few months.
The SL Half race was held in late March last year, when it was already ridiculously hot and humid. The only reason I signed up to do it again was the fact that moved it up by three weeks. Last year I ran it in 1:53:58, so my goal for this year's race will be to run in the Houston Marathon qualifying time, which is 1:52:55. I'm actually already set for 2014 (so glad my 2012 sub-4 still counts!) but I figure this is a good benchmark to go by after evaluating how my month of non-training training has actually panned out.
And how has it panned out, you ask? Better than expected! Highlights include last week's 10 miler that averaged 9:10 pace (not exactly record-breaking, but all training leading up to the Houston Half was closer to 10-minute pace) and yesterday's Texas Med 5K in 24:52/7:59 pace.
|I have my Garmin set to display average pace. I know this isn't official (damn tangents!) but I was still pretty psyched to see these numbers at the finish line!|
When I first moved back to Houston almost two years ago, I went from spring in New York to full on summer here. It took time to adjust, and much like when you first return to running after injury, my paces were (much) slower than I would have liked. I went with the flow for the first few weeks, running whatever I wanted (usually six miles, since I love racing 10Ks) and my paces eventually caught up with me so that I could run a few PRs that fall. I'm hoping starting my season a more relaxed approach will work in my favor, since I am actually hoping to run 5K and 10K PRs before summer hits.
Ever use a certain race distance like the half as more of a training distance like I do?