If I live to run a billion miles, I'm certain I'll never make real, honest and education assumptions about what pace I should run on a given race day. Generally, I'm almost adequate with the easy run, taking off and adjusting how fast I go to get through the miles I have planned. For racing? Not so much.
I really enjoyed the first half of this winter of 2018-19. Nice weather, no snow to speak of. But the old man recovered his mojo for the second half and has pretty much destroyed the slow progress I was making at the rest of my comeback for spring. I was near 30 mpw in the third week of January. My vow to not go all Bacon-y this year hadn't hurt my numbers at all. Since the 21th of that month, my mileage as been like this:
- 1/21-27 - 6 miles (1 run)
- 1/28-2/3 - 9 miles (1 run)
- 2/4-10 - 22 miles (4 runs, LR 6.1)
- 2/11-17 - 5 miles (1 run)
- 2/18-24 - 26 miles (4 runs, LR 10)
- 2/25-3/1 - 18 miles (3 runs)
Surely I'm not the only one.
Now, a rational person would never look at that mileage build up and dream of running 13.1 miles at anything above a trot. Not this old guy. After all, a good portion of those miles have been under 8:30, including that 10-miler the weekend before the Snowbuster. Ha! For a race, I'll just take my best time for any single mile in the last 6 weeks and try running that pace for two hours. What could possibly go wrong?
The weather wasn't really promising - frigid in the morning, snow coming from just after sunrise to late in the afternoon. Then warmer, though - mid-30s! I thought long and hard about waiting for those PM above-freezing hours. But in the end, with a hunt for a new suit for Big Mac's wedding still ongoing, I went early to be done before Mrs. Dave was available to guide me through the malls (as a rule, I don't do malls).
So, it was 8:15 or thereabouts. 22o, but at least there was no wind, and no snow yet. Would the snow be busted?
Since this was a race, I decided to actually warm up, jogging out of the neighborhood and along the front of the park. The ParkRun dude was out, setting up his cones for the weekly 5K. I didn't think they did this until spring. Anyway, I took off and immediately settled into a hard rhythm, but I'd run up to ten miles at what the pace felt like, so surely it wasn't too fast. This was going to be a really flat course anyway. 8:12, 8:05, 7:55. Easy peasy.
An old guy with a cane walking in front of the mall asked if I was cold. Just a bit, but the running makes it so I don't mind so much. South at the light.
And right there, just after mile three, things went all weird. WTH? All of a sudden I just felt like crap. Was the walk of shame in my near future? Even going this pace I ought to get more than three miles before running out of gas. This morning I'm looking back at the numbers for the first time and holy cow - you'd think I started a 5K at that corner.
I felt it immediately, but didn't know what was happening. Of course, I tried to keep going. Took the edge off the pace. 8:13, 8:26. 8:30. You can see that did nothing for my HR. Glad I didn't pay anything for this race.
The referee called a TKO at the half way point. I stopped at 6.55, stood there in the middle of the sidewalk, downed a Hammer Gel, and pondered my life. Obviously, eight minute miles weren't the most prudent for that morning, but some days you're the bug, right? So, I shuffled along my route. No DNF for me. I had banked some sweet time early on and figured I had a shot at salvaging a sub-2 still unless my shuffle became this
Which it nearly felt like. Anyway, that was pretty much the excitement for the morning. The second half was all about 9:00mm while I was "running" with a 60 second walking break after each mile. I'd watch my heart rate until it dropped below 130, then plod along for another mile. Not my finest hour. Still, I salvaged a 1:56:48, so that's OK.
I guess you need to train, even if it's "only" a half marathon.
The real question is, "Did it work? Is the snow busted?"
Inconclusive. The storm forecast for Saturday afternoon never happened. At least, the 3-4 inches they talked about ended up just a few flurries late in the day. Another round expected on Sunday only gave a dusting, although it's more than chilly as we start the week. Brr. 19 for a high today and tomorrow, then a slow climb with three chances for snow, but then 40+ three times in the ten day forecast.
More importantly, we found a suit for the wedding. Apparently navy isn't the popular color this year. It's taken three solid weeks of searching to find my size that didn't cost a king's ransom.
So, let's hear about the other Snowbuster runs/races. How'd you do? Warmer than mine? Colder? Faster? Slower? More interesting?