Never in my wildest dreams did I think that when I started the "Runner's World Run Streak" back on Thanksgiving Day that I would still be at it in early March. But here it is, 100 days later, and I haven't missed a day.
What's even more amazing to me is that I have managed to stay healthy throughout these past 3+ months. I've been a magnet for injury throughout my short running career, and to go this long without getting hurt is a major personal accomplishment. Yeah, I've had some aches & pains - sore feet, sore calves, black toenails, etc. - but none of that was bad enough to keep me from stopping.
I still have 15 days until the Rock & Roll USA Nation's Capital Half Marathon on March 17th, and I'll most likely be running every day until then. I usually take a few days off before I run half-marathons, but this year, I think it will be 2 very short, easy days (1 to 1.5 miles) just to keep the legs loose.
What I've found is that as the streak has gone on, I've been getting stronger. My heart rate doesn't fluctuate as much anymore, my speed has increased dramatically, and I really have become aware of what my body is telling me, and I can adjust my runs accordingly (aka, "running smart").
So I have the Reston 10 Miler on the schedule for this Sunday, as a kind of "prep race" for my half. My Team McGraw coach, friend, and trusted advisor, Kevin Leathers has recommended I not go all-out, but to work on things during the race. As a result, he has recommended the following plan:
1. Run the first 4 miles at my easy pace. I'll go by heart-rate here, which means under 143. I'm assuming a 9:25 pace (37:40 time) based on my recent easy runs;
2. Run the middle 4 miles at half-marathon pace, My goal pace on the 17th is 9:04, so 36:16;
3. Run the last 2 as fast as I wish. I'd like to do an 8:45 pace here (17:30).
If I hit all of those targets, that would give me a time of 1:31:14, which would be 26 seconds under my PR for a 10-miler. But my main concern on Sunday is to get some work in and NOT get injured. I don't need a PR here. If it comes, it comes. My main concern is to keep a 9:04 pace in those middle 4. These 4 miles on Sunday are, coincidentally, rather hilly, so it will be a big test to see if I can do it.
Now on to the next 100!