Sunday, October 12, 2014

Five Weeks to the Big Sur Half-Marathon: Time to regroup a little?

The Glide Floss Bridge to Bridge 12k started at San Francisco's
Ferry Building, as this contrived photo indicates
Wait a minute, didn't I say I'd stop doing these posts.  OK, it's five weeks to go before the Big Sur Half-Marathon and hitting a goal of sub 1:22, and like many situations, they could be better, but they could also be worse.

For example, last week, I ran the Glide Floss Bridge to Bridge 12k, which starts from San Francisco's Ferry Building, near the Bay Bridge, and runs along the San Francisco coast to the Golden Gate Bridge, before doubling back and finishing in near Fort Mason.    I was hoping to finish in under 46 minutes, under 6:10 per mile pace for the 7.45 mile race but that just wasn't in the cards. The first couple mile were around 6:10 pace, but a decent headwind off the San Francisco Bay and not feeling quite sharp despite a mini-taper turned things into one of those grind it out sort of races where you just have to keep working hard to maintain pace.  Complicating things was that plenty of Sunday morning runners crowded the running course so it got to be a bit of a challenge dodging all the different runners and figuring who was out for their Sunday morning run and who was racing.

There's no better sight than an empty row of pristine
porta-potties on race morning
Fighting through the last couple miles, I reeled in this young whippersnapper in the 16 and under age group at mile seven, but he wouldn't go away.  Extending a lead of maybe 30 yard, I could hear him charging back in hopes to catch me at the finish. I basically have no speed what so-ever so as he broke into a sprint to catch me, Lumbering towards the finish line a little faster, I just held him off  at the finish line, coming across in 46:52.    I may be 47, but I still have a few bullets left.  (Yeah right.)

The 46:52 time translates to an overall pace was 6:18 per mile for the relatively flat 7.45 mile course, suggesting my goal of 6:15 per mile pace for the 13.1 mile distance at the Big Sur Half-Marathon in six weeks is going to be a challenge.

Overall, the last couple weeks I've felt a bit worn out.  Work has gotten harder lately and a family trip to Yosemite was awesome, was another non-running friendly stress.  So it's time to reevaluate, and maybe back off a little bit over the next four critical weeks of training leading up to the half-marathon.   The good news is that my legs are pretty intact, no soreness or injuries.   You have to work hard to run fast, but it's also important to do all that hard work smartly.  Backing off a little to keep things fresh seems like the right thing to do.

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