|Finishing 2008 |
This past Saturday morning, the first day of my summer break from teaching, I put in 3 workman-like treadmill miles (despite fairly pleasant weather outside) just to get jump started. This was followed by a miserable 1.5 miles of a planned 5 easy miles on Sunday. I walked the balance of the planned run, feeling a little demoralized. When I made it home, I decided to do my best to persevere and change focus slightly. Moving away from my standard training model, I looked up a Run/Walk Half Marathon Training Schedule, with the intention of picking up the plan at the seven week point. I have used a run-walk training plan before, and to pretty good effect, when preparing for the Finger Lakes 50k Trail Race wa-a-a-ay back in 2009. Given my current fitness level (I could handle a plan requiring a 10-15 mile weekly base), my new-found purpose, and the timeline, it seems my best bet to prepare for a 9 hazy, hot, humid and hilly miles.
This morning, I finished the first day of week seven, which calls for 4 miles in the following pattern of exertion: run for 3 minutes, walk for 1 minutes and repeat until the distance expectation is met. It went fairly well, and allowed me to feel a small sense of accomplishment after the prior day's aborted 5 miler. The mile pace was consistent with what I might hope to do on July 6, but over the course of 9 miles I may need to adjust expectation even more.
The desired optimal 10 min mile pace is much slower than I have run in past Boilermakers, but would result in a (literally) pedestrian 1:45 to 2:00 hour finish time. For reference, my prior Boilermakers (including last year's run after a seven year hiatus from the race are: 2015 1:19.40 (8:33 min/mile), 2008 1:07:27 (7:15 min/mile), 2007 1:08:52 (7:24 min/mile). The hilly and crowded course accompanied by potentially difficult weather (humidity and heat) make for a notoriously challenging race. The intent is that dialed-back and reasonable expectations will help avoid defeating myself mentally before crossing the finish line. For me, this year (in addition to being a small part of what I am confident will be a good run for my son) is about finishing. And, a finish is a finish.