Thursday, October 28, 2010

Boston Nerves

Hmm, my name is still not listed as a Boston entrant, and now most of my registered friends are.  I still know one other person who registered and isn't listed.  But why is it taking so long for them to verify my time?  Shouldn't it go alphabetically or something, so I'd have a sense of where they were in the process?  Don't they know how nervous I am?  It's like my theory that hitting "track package" every minute with UPS or FedEx might make them know I really, really am waiting for it so they'll bring it faster? 

We had our last fun morning at the track today.  By fun, I mean unscheduled.  Those of us who've already done our big fall marathons have been accompanying the NY marathoners to the track, but as they've been busting out steady times on their scheduled repeats, the group of us has been taking turns calling the repeat and the pace, asking each other what we feel like doing next.  But that's ending today.  By Monday, my legs should officially be back to normal and I will be cleared to race again if I want, having taken off from racing 1 day for every mile raced, which is the conventional wisdom on returning to running injury-free after a race. 

This has been an interesting year for racing.  And interesting is not necessarily good.  For the first 8 months of the year, I couldn't seem to PR to save my life.  I suppose I technically had 1 PR in those months, but that was at a distance (10k) where I was competing with Adam and I missed beating him by less than 15 seconds, so I wasn't at all happy with the PR.  And in many of the other races during the first 8 months of the year, I missed a PR very narrowly, but missed it nonetheless.  Then I had a birthday in August and have PRed in every race since then.  But that's only 3 races.  But of course two of them (5k and marathon) were big personal victories for me, especially the marathon since I eeked it out a few minutes faster than Adam.  The 5k was a bit disappointing because I was 1 second behind him. 

I originally had high hopes for the half next weekend.  While I'll compete with Adam, I fully expect that he will beat me, and I will accept that gracefully.  I want him to completely kill it and I'll be happy to share in his joy and celebrations afterward.  My goals had always seemed more modest.  I wanted to run fast enough to put my time in a new "decade" of minutes, meaning I need to shave about 2 minutes off my half PR from this race last year.  And given that during MTCM I actually had a first half time that would get me into the new decade (would have been a PR if the race had been a half instead of a full), it seems like I should be able to do it. 

But I'm having doubts about my legs and level of fitness.  The scale hasn't shown any results from all the damage I've been doing on my body lately in terms of my eats (and mostly my drinks).  After spreading out celebration meals and happy hours for a couple weeks after the marathon, I'm pretty much back to my normal eating patterns, but I still seem to have a much bigger appetite (and I'm far more relaxed about things like drinking the night before a run).  Regardless of the scale, following a recovery plan of almost a month of easy running after the marathon has made me feel like I don't have any speed left, though I actually was happy with my times at the track this morning.  We did 1600 easy, 400, 400 easy, 800, 400 easy, 400, 400 easy.  And my 400 times were actually good.  The first one I thought would not be replicated, but I actually beat it by one second on the second one. 

My mileage in the weeks following MTCM:

Race week = 31.1 over 3 days (race day Sunday, then Thurs and Fri)
Next week = 23.6 over 6 days of working out (1 day was no running though)
Next week = 32.3 over 5 days
This week = 30.3 so far, I'll probably add in a mile or two tomorrow

Those distances per week should all be fine for a half PR next weekend, but my legs just don't seem to feel it.  On the 1600 easy this morning, we were about 10-15 seconds faster than I'd like my half pace to be, but wow, it did not feel sustainable for another 12 miles!  Guess we'll just see. 

After being so happy with meeting my marathon goal, I don't feel like I have to impress anyone with a good half time.  But at the same time, lots of my marathon pacing decisions were based on the fact that I should have been able to qualify based on my training, but I didn't want to qualify by a large margin in hopes of saving my legs a bit of stress so they could pump out an impressive time next weekend.  So if I underperform next weekend, I'll be disappointed in myself. 

Guess we'll just see how it goes.  The morning of the race, I may try to find some weekday guys to start with, and then see how it goes and how much they and/or Adam are picking up the pace.  I've actually run this particular half on 3 or 4 times before and I've PRed every time. 

That's misleading.  I must admit that the first time I ever ran it was my first half race ever, so it was a guaranteed PR -- if I'd had any time to beat, I wouldn't have done it.  It was my first race where I got very overheated, had to walk the last mile, and then was taken to the medical tent where I promptly commenced the vomiting.  Lovely.  The good news was my very first half was such a wreck that my personality pretty much guaranteed I'd keep running so that I could finish with a time that I felt better represented my abilities. 

Anyway, hubby is out of town tonight, so I'm excited to get to sleep with the windows open, that won't make up for missing him, but it's something.  Other than that, not much to report.  Saw two movies this week, Sound of Music Sing-Along, and Monsters. 

Sound of Music Sing-Along was fun.  The funniest part for me was realized that they subtitled the chanting in the abbey, so you could sing along in Latin if you wanted.  Several people laughed when the subtitles came up.  Of course a great movie.  Not sure if my fave song is Edelweiss or My Favorite Things, but I enjoyed singing them all.

Monsters was pretty good.  Best described as drawing from Jurassic Park, District 9, The Road (didn't see the movie, but I read the book), and one movie I can't remember the name of -- it was about most people in the country getting some kind of plague, the army quarantining them, and a group of 3 or 4 people fleeing, maybe set in Pennsylvania.  Anyway, I thought Monsters was pretty good, but hubby didn't like it too much.  He thought there was too much of an undercurrent message about illegal immigration and that it was too anti-US-govt.  But we both enjoyed going out for wine and pizza afterward, like normal people.  We usually go to bed so early, but he was sleeping in today b/c of his travel, and I figured I didn't care if I sabotaged my track workout.  Who are all those people eating and drinking at 10:00 at night on a school night?  I still don't know, but at least we were among them and having fun last night.

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