Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Hunt For PRs

I’m almost 50. I’ve been running for 10 years. The realization that most of my best times forvarious distances has been set for life is slowly creeping in. I have a PR list in a spreadsheet. Iknow which ones I feel I still have a shot at breaking. There are some odd distances that I eitheronly ran once, early, or haven’t ran at all. Those don’t really count. Of the more regulardistances, my half marathon time has always seemed one of the “softer” PRs. On one hand,that’s surprising to me since it’s a distance I absolutely love. It’s long enough, for training to playa slightly larger role than talent, but short enough that you can “go for it” without the glamorousflame out that the marathon can bring. But, maybe that’s why I see my PR in that distance assoft, because it always feels like I can run a solid half.
It was cold!
I feel like I have this year’s big races set up really well for myself. Better than in any other year inquite a while. A 24 hour race in March, Pac Rim One Day. Then a marathon in June, NewportMarathon. Then my Run Across Oregon in August. High mileage training for the 24 hour race,then put some speed training in for the marathon, then back to high mileage training for the crossstate run. The only part of it that didn’t really make sense was the half marathon I signed up forin January, Cascade Half Marathon.
25 Seconds
I had a really good second half of 2012. No injuries, since giving up the trails. A good 50k inOctober, but no speed training to speak of. Out of respect for truly fast runners, I shouldprobably rephrase that, no track work. So, I went in to the Cascade Half not really sure what toexpect. It was cold! Around 23 degrees at the start. I didn’t warm up nearly as much as Inormally would for a half marathon. I ran the length of the indoor hallway at Cascade HighSchool several times, but that was it. I missed the first 2 mile markers but noticed at mile 3 that Iwas very close to my PR pace and feeling pretty comfortable. The road was icy in patches. Notenough to make you alter your stride, but enough to make you pay attention. At the turnaround Iwas 15 seconds off PR pace and still feeling really good. I told myself to just keep it undercontrol for another few miles and then I’d let myself start picking up the pace. Then around mile9, I started feeling some tightening in my hamstrings. It’s usually one leg or the other whensomething starts to go wrong, so it was strange to feel it equally in both legs. By mile 10 theywere both knotted up pretty good. Every other part of my body wanted to go faster, even myeyelashes were saying “let’s go”, but every time I tried to pick it up, they felt like they were on theverge of tearing. I missed my PR by 25 seconds. But I feel very confident that with some speedtraining, a little better weather and a more appropriate warm up, my half marathon PR is one thatwill still get lower. Next attempt, Corvallis Half Marathon, April 14

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