The GO! St. Louis Half Marathon is coming up this weekend and my last month of base building went almost as planned. I threw a curve ball at my training schedule when I did some impromptu speed work. I have been happy with my pace, but thought I would give it a try after speaking with a running friend.
A week after my first speed workout I had a break through week. Either I hadn't been pushing myself hard enough in the past or my speed workout took hold faster than I thought it would. That week I ran my fastest 5K (3.10 miles) in 24:37 minutes at a 7:56 pace. This is after I had been unsuccessfully trying to break 25:00 minutes on the same 5K course. With that under my belt I wanted to get back to my base building and ended up running my furthest distance to date (15.25 miles) in 2:28 at a 9:43 pace.
So my goal this month was to finish with four consecutive 30 mile weeks, but given the progress of my speed work, I am happy to finish these last two weeks with 30 and 32 miles respectively. I still don't have a clear goal for how I want to run my half marathon this weekend. Initially I was going to treat it as a training run, but now want to face it as the race it is.
I went into my first half marathon with the intent to simply finish strong and ended up nailing my estimated time of 2:10. I wanted to break 2:00 hours for my second half marathon and ended up crushing that time with a 1:53 finish, although the course was a lot flatter. My half coming up this weekend is the same course as my 2:10 finish... so again I will be happy with anything better than 2:00 hours, but it would be nice to finish with a time closer to how I finished on the flat course.
I still have a few more days to think about how hard I want to push myself and will post a race report here next week. Good luck to everyone running this weekend!