When I started running again in August to train for Soma, my run was nothing short of awful. My aerobic pace had slowed almost a minute a mile and my HR would sky rocket up to my HR cap so easily. I was grumpy and slow and grumpy and HOT. I stuck with it and finally, after a shitty run at an Olympic race at the end of September I got some speed work put on my schedule. It took just a few weeks of pace work as well as some temperature drops to get some of my speed back. Unfortunately race day gave us 100deg temps to run in so my run performance was less than stellar at Soma, but whadaya gonna do when you fee like your melting?
We bagged our plans to race in Vegas 2 weeks after Soma, so I immediately sent my coach a note to tell her - Tucson Half. Let's do this. And, BTW I know we only have 5 weeks. But, I would like a PR. Ok, thanks.
If anyone can get me there, I'm pretty sure Michelle can. Now, until this past year I haven't been able to wrap my head around any sort of crazy ass time goals, but I've decided that was the old me. Game on. Michelle isn't afraid to test your limits and put you to work, and thankfully (although I'm sure my husband would disagree) I'm pretty good at doing what I'm told. To a "T".
For the past 4 weeks I've been running 4x per week. Some speed work (although not all out- except 1 VO2 test workout), some tempo race pace running, easy aerobic runs and also long runs ending at race pace. 30-35 miles per week. That might now sound like much to some of you real runners, but besides a few peak IM weeks, I don't usually run that much.. or certainly not that hard.
To be honest, I've been quite shocked at how quickly my body has adapted to this faster running. The paces I can hold and the HRs I'm doing them at have been something in ten years of running that I have never seen nor thought possible. I feel more confident with each run I go do, and all be darned if I didn't hold on to 1 crazy zippy girl the last time I went to track for a couple of laps!
Today's workout was my last hard hard/key run before the race. I did a 2 mile warmup then I did 3x2 miles at "race pace." I was tired…. Probably a combination of last weeks work including a (hungover) negative splitting long run on Sunday plus a 2 hour massage plus a strength workout yesterday. Either way, I was mentally exhausted and had a really hard time making myself get into the run. I kept thinking of ways to turn down a street to make the route easier… or wanting to walk. It was complete mind over matter when I would look at my watch and see I was running faster than race pace and my HR was in the mid 160s. I had NO reason to walk. I wasn't panting, I wasn't cramping nothing hurt. It was all in my head and I sucked it up, kept pace and even finished the loop the harder way at a slight incline.
That run was followed up with a 25 mile ride doing some hills. Sure enough Tucson can't feel any harder that THIS!
So there you have it. I've got a goal. I'm doing the work, and I'm going to give it my all next Sunday.. Best part, I've got my pacer/rabbit/husband all signed up to get me there ;-)