Wednesday, September 23, 2015

9:30? sub-10? No idea!!!

Or is it...???
The first two go-rounds with the Hansons training program, I had a definite goal pace in mind (10:30), I was able to maintain it pretty easily throughout my Wednesday tempo runs, and everything was fine and good.

This time, I decided to kick it up a notch and shoot for something faster. Using my time from the Martian half marathon, the McMillan pace calculator predicted that I can run a full marathon at a 9:32 pace. So that's what I've been training all summer, to varying degrees of success.

Let's look back at my tempo runs all summer:

July 1
3.01 miles
9:34 average pace

July 8
dreaded summer cold or allergies, no miles, just a long nap

July 15
5.25 miles
9:24

July 22
5.0 miles
9:30

July 29
+/- 5 miles
no pace written down

August 5
8.1 miles
9:28

August 12
8.0 miles
9:28

August 19
8.1 miles
9:37

August 26
9.5 miles
9:25

September 2
6.3 miles
9:31 treadmill

September 9
8.0 miles
9:59
First half were at pace, second half was a struggle to not walk

September 16
10 miles
9:30
Killed it, one second faster than total goal time

September 23
7.75 miles
9:47
First half were at pace, second half was a struggle to not walk

I don't put much stock in the shorter runs because they're short! I can run fast for a short distance! The two September runs concern me. Yes, they've both been hot. Yes, I've been bored, cranky, tired, you name it. I feel like I should be able to maintain my race pace for 10 miles by this point without falling apart or wanting to quit.

So now, with less than 3 weeks to go, I don't know how to approach my race day pace. Do I shoot for the moon and start with 9:30s, knowing I'll probably flame out early and crash and burn? Do I play it safe and re-adjust my pace to something more manageable, knowing that I would be leaving valuable time on the course? To break 4:30, my absolute slowest pace can be a 10:17, which feels really easy right now, so do I switch to that? I have no idea. 

So much of it is weather-dependent, which isn't good. When it's cool and low humidity, like September 16, I get in a groove and feel like I can run 9:30s forever, but if it's hot or humid, I may as well try and run on the moon, it feels so impossible. 

At this point, I have no idea how in tarnation I managed to finish the Martian with a 9:02 average pace. A big part of that was sticking with pacer Ron the whole way, but I'm not sure I can find the pace group in the massive Chicago crowds, or if I even want to. I most definitely do not enjoy group running whatsoever. Aside from that, though, I don't know about anything.

2 comments:

  1. The pacers in Chicago are amazing! you get a PACK of them! the year I ran Chicago my pacers were like Angels. then I ran Detroit like a knothead the next weekend and who do I see picking up my bib, one of my pacers.He actually became Andys pacer for the half! And he was so cool he gave Andy his pacer sign. Pretty cool experience!

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    1. Another complication is that there are pace teams for 4:10 and 4:25, but nothing in between. It seems like there are pace groups for every 5 minutes, except my approximate pace, which has a 15-minute gap. What the heck?!?

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