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

July 22
5.0 miles

July 29
+/- 5 miles
no pace written down

August 5
8.1 miles

August 12
8.0 miles

August 19
8.1 miles

August 26
9.5 miles

September 2
6.3 miles
9:31 treadmill

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

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

September 23
7.75 miles
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.


  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!

    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?!?