Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Slogging Along

The snow is melting. The temperatures are rising. And I keep pounding out the miles.

Nothing exciting happening in my training, just getting prepared for the Van Metre 5 Mile Run for Children's Hospital being held this Saturday in Ashburn, VA. I ran this race last year in a cold, biting rain, so my hope is that this year the weather will be a bit more forgiving. The forecast is calling for fair skies and temperatures at race time in the high 30's. Perfect racing weather.

This race holds a bit of a special meaning for me, running-wise, since it was the first race where I broke a 9-minute mile pace (8:59, to be exact). I knew I was going to have a pretty good day when, in the first mile (up a silight incline), other runners were huffing and puffing, and I was cruising along, thanks to training in a neighborhood with some steep grades. Around the 4-mile mark I knew I had a chance to break 9 minutes if I really put the pedal down, and I did just that on the last straightaway.

This year, though, I can't afford to be so cavalier. I have a half-marathon in a little over 2 weeks, and I don't want to injure myself so close to race day. So my strategy is to go out and run it a little faster than half-marathon pace (9:40) and treat this race as a tempo run. I do know that I'll probably start out fast (I always do), and if I'm true to form, I'll probably run a 9:20 or so on mile 1. If I do my normal tempo run (8:45) for the middle 3 miles, that would put me at about 36 minutes at mile 4. I could theoretically break my PR if I simply run a 9-minute final mile, so we'll see how I feel.

I just need to run smart and get a good run in.

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