About a week ago I realized that my schedule called for 13 miles (at marathon pace + 15 seconds) for this weekend. It was only then that I decided to run the 20K (12.4 miles) in New Haven yesterday. I'm glad I did.
I actually looked up my post from last year
to see how early I had left. I was on the road by 6, and in New Haven a little after 7. I was able to park about 200 feet from the finish line. This was definitely not NYC!
I picked up my packet, went back to the car, and hung out for a bit. I then went back to last year's meeting spot, and found Jon
showed up a bit later, as did Beth
. Even though my friends from last year couldn't make it, it was awesome to still feel amongst friends.
Diana, Jon, me
Jon went off to the 5K (after his 18 mile run yesterday!) and the rest of us went off to the 20K start. Everyone was kind of moving to the front, but I like to stay towards the back. As I said to Bill, when I start too close to the front, I get fooled into thinking I'm faster than I am, and I start out too fast.
I still started out faster than I had intended to. I had forgotten to press the start button on my watch, but I crossed the first mile marker at 9:49. (Later, I'd figure out that this was about 8:14.)
The next few miles went by in between 7:30 to 7:40. What the...? I'm not this fast. I knew I'd gotten faster using my new training regimen, but this was faster than my shorter distance PRs!
Basically, I kept running with about the same effort, and kept expecting to see the pace drop. But it didn't. I was able to keep up a similar pace - with even a few faster miles - for the entire race. I ended up finishing with a net of 1:34:02, for a 7:34 pace! (Um yeah, that's my 5K PR pace. My half marathon PR pace is 8:35, and earlier this year I couldn't even come close to that.)
I'm just amazed. If anyone has been thinking about trying "Run Less, Run Faster"
, this is my ringing endorsement. Wow.
One other thing is that I ran without music. I was able to listen to my breathing the entire race. There were times when I felt my breathing getting faster, and I consciously was able to slow it down. I can't be certain, but I really think that helped as well.
So... where does this leave me in terms of my marathon goal? Well, according to the Running Times pace predictor
, I should be expected to run a 3:32 marathon. That seems ridiculous. I'm definitely more confident about the 4 hour thing, but I don't want to get too ahead of myself. Let's not forget the bridges and hills, and let's not forget my current PR of 4:43:50.
Anyway, after the race I hung out with the other bloggers and enjoyed the good weather. It was really a great day!
Bill, Jon, me
Back: Chris, Beth's son, Beth, Bill
Front: me, Diana, Jon
I'm somewhat sore today. Not terrible, but enough to make me wonder what to do with my training. (This is why not to race during training!) I'm going to try to stick to the schedule, but if I don't feel good I'll cut back a little.
I'm also signed up for another half at the end of September. Originally I'd planned on using that race to judge my training. Now it seems like a bad idea to race it. I'd like to say I'll run it as a "training run", but somehow I doubt I'm capable of actually sticking to that. However, I definitely don't want to harm my marathon goals because of a lesser race. I'll have to remember to be careful.