I spent the last week with a growing crisis of confidence. Yes, I had spent all summer so far training routinely (a new thing for me) :-) in this blasted heat, doing just about all speedwork. But circumstances last week led me to not run at all - that's fine, it's a taper, I'll just have fresh legs, right?
But I just have felt this dwindling confidence in the idea that I am in fact faster. And that I can PR on Sunday. I would very much like to see that validation of the hard work I've put in and see a PR. I don't know that this is the race to try to meet my New Year's Resolution to take 24 minutes off my half marathon time during 2009 and end the year with a sub-2 1/2 hr half marathon.
PR pace = sub-12:23 min/mi (current PR is 2:42:13)
New Year's Resolution pace = 11:27 min/mi (want to break 2 1/2 hours this year)
The past couple days I've been trying to regain some confidence by turning positive comments I can find about the course map or the weather forecast into a repeatable mantra.
But tonight I'd had a hard day and I was still trying to just get comfortable with the range of paces I've been running the last few months, so I planned to use tonight's run to do 2 miles at 11:30 pace (basically New Year's Resolution pace). I wanted to remind my body what that pace feels like... and I hoped after all the speed work I've been doing, that it would be a reminder that it's a manageable pace, maybe for much longer than the 2 miles.
Well in winding through the neighborhood, I ended up much further away from my house at 2 miles, so did 3 instead.
3 miles at 34:23 = 11:28 avg pace
Mile 1: 11:29
Mile 2: 11:26
Mile 3: 11:28
The 3 were pretty manageable. The weather was 86 degrees with 54% humidity. New York's expected weather - 68 degrees in the morning and about the same humidity. Yippee!
In the end, desired results were achieved! I'm feeling a lot better about PRing on Sunday if it's a good day!
Next blog will discuss the multi-layer strategy of continued confidence building between now and Sunday, since a lot of times race times for me are very dependent on my mental state at the time.