Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall training 2013: RACE TIME!

And this is it. I've been working towards this race basically since June, although I didn't officially start training for it until July. But it's been the big goal race the whole time, and it's exciting/terrifying that it is finally here. Time to obsess over details like the weather forecast.

Monday's forecast. Rain? RAIN? That's not part of the plan! Fortunately Amy called Environment Canada and pulled some strings to get that changed.

There were a few hiccups along the way in the training (like, say, pretty much all of August). But overall I'm pleased with how this training cycle has gone. The 10k PB a couple of weeks ago in particular shows that I've made progress, and should be able to knock some time off my current half marathon record. Sunday we'll see just what these legs can do!

Training summary since the Mississauga half in May. That's a lot of running. Could have done more interval training, and how did I not have any cut weeks in June or July? Maybe that explains some of the issues I had in August. 

Monday: Thanksgiving Monday, so no work, yay. Easy 8k by the lake, just because I love to run there. It was too beautiful a day to run through the boring late 80s suburban developments where I live.

A little nicer than my closer to home routes. Also fewer hills (bonus).

Tuesday: Rest day. I did a yoga video that has some amazing hip stretches. Fantastic. Find it here.

Wednesday: 6k early in the morning in the rain. Did 2k at race pace in the middle. Felt good. I ran this without music which meant my brain was all "Oh hi this pace? HA HA I DOUBT IT", so when I got to work I made myself a sign to hang over my desk. My brain can be my worst enemy in races, so this is my current strategy to get my mindset positive.

Oh god, did I spell believe right? I hope I spelled it right.

Thursday: Very easy 5k at lunch. I found myself running the same route I used to use for some of my Couch 2 5k runs. That helped put things in perspective - I remembered how it felt each week to make it a little bit further along the path as the running intervals got longer. I remembered how it felt to finish my first 5k run, and then my first 5k race (30:58, thank you very much - that was almost exactly two years ago). Even if I don't reach a particular time goal on Sunday, running has brought so much joy to my life, and it was nice to be reminded of where I started and how much I've accomplished along the way.

Scenery wasn't half bad, either.
And that's it. No more training left to do. Along with Believe, my mantra this week has been Trust the Training. The hay is in the barn, as they say. There's nothing to be done at this point except keep loose, fuel up, and try and get lots of sleep. And make sure my planned race outfit is clean (*runs off to do laundry*). My legs feel strong, and my brain is starting to come around to thinking this might just be possible.


What are my goals? My last half marathon was at Mississauga back in May, where my goal was to go sub 2 and I surprised myself with a 1:58 - I was convinced going into that race that if I got the sub two it would be just barely. Two minutes under was amazing. In retrospect, however, when I look at the splits from that race, I really think if I hadn't paced it in the stupidest possible way I'd have had a legitimate shot at 1:56:xx. Starting out way too fast will cost you at the end of the race, imagine that. Amazing how pretty much all runners have to learn that by experiencing it themselves. Over and over and over again..

So the big goal is 1:53:xx; roughly a 5:21/km pace. I will be ecstatic if I can hit that; I will be happy if I can go under 1:56. Honestly 5:21/km kind of feels like a stretch, but what have I been doing all this training for if not to go for it? So there it is. I'm going to be running the race with Patty, so I plan to ignore my watch (I'll set it to display calories burned instead of current pace), and just stick with Patty until we either finish the race or I collapse at the side of the road.

Aside from the race itself, I plan to enjoy myself! My husband and I are ditching the kids and will go to the expo together (hoping for some good deals, especially on gear for him now that he's decided he wants to train for a spring half marathon). We'll go out for dinner Saturday (also without kids! YAY!). Before the race I hope to meet up with lots of my Daily Mile friends. Even without a PB running a race is always really fun, and I love doing them. The energy in the air, being around so many other people who share the same passion for this slightly ridiculous sport. It's exciting.

Scotibank half marathon, I'm ready. Let's do this thing.


  1. Yay Emma! You guys will do great on Sunday, I know it! You've worked hard all summer, now go reap the rewards.

  2. YAY! You're going to surprise yourself for sure. You're so right about the mind; that's where I am as well.

  3. As the others said, you'll do well on Sunday! And time without the kids is an added bonus, enjoy!