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Last Deposit To The Running Bank

February 15, 2009

… before the Hyannis Half Marathon was made yesterday with a nice 12.6 mile LSD run. I clocked in at 1:03 for the first lap and 1:02 for the second for an average pace of 9:56 and average HR of 142. While keeping my average HR pretty steady for my long runs, I’ve seen my pace slowly increase over the last two months. It has been slow, but the improvement is definitely there. I’m totally psyched to see how all the work on improving my running will reveal itself on race day.

All the miles are in. The work is done. There isn’t anything else that I can do to build up any more running fitness, but that is okay. Given how far my running has come since starting to train for this race in in October, I’m pretty happy. There were some bumps in the road and I didn’t get in as much speed work as I may have wanted, but that is all part of the game. Adaptation.

This will be my first half marathon ever too. I’ve done a bunch of 10ks and 5ks, but the only half marathon I’ve ever raced was at the end of my half ironman last year, and that was pretty much a disaster because of other injury-related issues. I definitely feel like I have something to prove next weekend and am looking forward to redeeming myself.

And with the first race of the 2009 season comes the first TAPER of 2009. For the next week Coach Brett has me taking off running completely and sticking strickly to swim and bike workouts to make sure my running legs are nice and fresh for the race next Sunday. And with a little bit of extra time on my hands, I’ll be working over my race day plan.

I really like Coach Adam‘s Commute-Warmup-Race philosophy. I’m planning on taking it easy for the first 6 miles, and slowly picking up speed in pre-planned intervals should allow me to not only negative split, but have a really solid idea of how hard I can push myself and still hold it together all the way through the finish line.

Now that I had a plan, tossed it around with the coach, it was time to break it all down on paper and see what race day could look like.

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And for those that can’t read my awful handwriting, here is the game plan (the conservative version). I’ll be holding off to a 9:30 pace for the first 6 miles, picking it up to 8:45 for the next 4 miles, then laying it all out for the last 3 miles with a 8:15 pace (or something hopefully a little faster). That will leave me with easily knocking off my  B goal of breaking 2 hours.

I’m trying not to get too stuck on numbers since it is so early in the season, the weather report is a little sketchy and I’d rather just enjoy racing my first half marathon, but my A goal would be breaking 1:50.  If I’m lucky and the stars align, a sub 1:45 would be pretty sweet, which gets me to my next point.

Here is some advice from Coach Adam’s blog and this is going to be one of the hardest part of the next 7 days:

During this last week, don’t begin to mentally shave seconds off of your Commute Pace to try and hit a specific time goal. Remember, your Commute Pace is the most important pace of the run. Do it right and you will feel strong and empowered as you run your final 10K. Blow it and you will be like any other marathoner out there struggling through an excuse known as “the wall.” Your Commute is run at a pace at which you will run no faster, not a pace that you will try to stay close to.

Welcome to taper week folks. Population: This guy!

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7 comments

  1. Good luck on the race. Originally I was going to run it, but I got my weeks confused and thought I had next Monday off, but it’s really today off.


  2. Good luck on the run! Maybe I’ll run into ya!


  3. Have a great time. Trust your training young Skywalker. My two cents: don’t plan on going TOO slow on the first half. Negative splits are not a goal in themselves, they are a tool. IMO your starting pace seems slow if you plan on finishing at 8:15. It’s a race: you won’t be able to resist the initial rush and let all those cotton-wearing runners pass you 😉


  4. What is a taper? Just go out hard and finish harder. Pain is temporary. Oh, that is why I am not a coach 🙂 Get out there and have a blast. Enjoy the heck out of it and know at the end you have your baseline to work with for future races. My guess, your first marathon will be early-mid 2010 as you are preparing for your first Ironman competition 🙂 You rock…GOOD LUCK!


  5. Stick to the plan – let all unfold and have a blast — you are more than ready!!!!!


  6. jamie – cant wait to hear how it all goes – you are more than ready! good luck!!!


  7. Congratulations!! Good luck! I’m so jealous that you’re speedy. 🙂



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