I mean obviously I am going to continue to do it because writing about it & having virtual conversations about it helps me process how my running life is going (or not going, depending). But last month was CIM, which means that leading up to it I was reading all kinds of posts about people getting ready to race and setting goals and then later race reports about how it went and all I could think about was *GOD*, I want to race again.
I want to write posts about my big, hairy, audacious goals for x race/distance & travel plans & how am I going to dress and fuel, and after that posts about how awesome or heartbreaking it was, how I utterly smashed my goal or missed it by the tiniest hair & how I'm plotting revenge in a few weeks. In 2012 I ran nine races, eight of which I really, truly trained hard for & went into ready to kick ass & take names.
At this point it's been over a year & a half since I did that. In 2014, I ran a grand total of four races -- two just to celebrate being able to run again, one as a training run, and one demoralizing DNF. Don't get me wrong--things have been going pretty well for me this fall and winter in terms of just trying to build up mileage & get my aerobic base back, and I expect to get back to really, *actually* training for races in not too much longer. But it's required (and continues to require) a lot of patience.
*Taps foot compulsively while repeatedly checking watch.*
And lo, my first race of 2015, the Foster City 10-Miler, is nigh!
The closer this race has gotten, the more excited I've felt. I know I'm not in shape right now to race the way I have in the past (and hope to be doing later this year), but I'm still SUPER psyched to actually be putting on a bib & standing at a starting line for the first time since August.
HELL YEAH RACING!!!
My secret, kind-of-scary goal has always been to try to run the whole thing at goal marathon pace (8:00/mile) or faster. I know I'm in pretty good aerobic shape, but I haven't done a lick of speed work since July & only a very few GMP runs over the last few weeks, so the question for me right now is, how long can I keep up that pace?
And I go back & forth on how I feel about it. Sometimes I'll do a six-mile GMP run & think, "Wow, this is pretty hard, and I'm only three miles in," & the idea of doing seven more miles at that pace is horrifying. But then I'll finish the last mile & think, "Eh, I feel okay, I could totally go farther." Wash/rinse/repeat.
Overall, I'm optimistic about it. I think the difference between this and a goal race is that (if all has gone according to plan), I go into a goal race knowing what I'm capable of if everything goes right. There is no guessing. I have a goal pace & I try to stick to it from the very start, and if I happen to have a little extra left at the end, great. I don't take any chances until maybe the last 20% of the race. With this one, though, I don't really know, and I'm cool with that. It's totally possible I'll run 8:00 miles for a while, feel great, and negative split the whole thing; it's also possible that I'll hold that pace for a while & then 7 or 8 or 9 miles later, my body will go, "Sorry, that's all she wrote!"
I don't want to plan for that, though. I want to start at 8:00 pace & just do it until I can't--no "checking in" at mile six or "listening to my body" or adjusting based on how I feel. Nope; eight minute miles until I can't. That is all. And if I have to run 10:00 or 11:00 miles after that, that's cool! At least then I'll know where I stand.
I like to set goals for races, but since this one is more of a "see what I've got" kind of gauge situation rather than an all-out race, my goals have kind of a different flavor than usually. So here's what I've got:
- D Goal: Don't have any sudden horrible pains/injuries & have to quit.
- C Goal: Finish around 1:20 (8:00 pace) with fairly even splits.
- B Goal: Run 8:00 pace for at least half the race, then negative split.
- A Goal: ????? Hella negative split???? The whole point is to get in some marathon pace miles, so I don't want to run any faster than that until halfway. So I dunno, negative split and also not feel like death?