There is a common expression to refer to getting ahead of yourself it’s called ‘putting the cart before the horse.’ This is how I would best describe my effort at the Flushing Meadows Half Marathon today. I recently completed the West Point Half Marathon (1:44.20) which was a hilly course and thought that I could go out and cut my time down to a 7:30 pace and shoot for a 1:38.19. Well I ended up finishing way late on my goal. Although I did PR (1:43:37) the rest did not go as I expected.
I started out the race too fast at a 7 min pace and did the first 3 miles on pace under 7:30/mile pace. I held under 8 mins to mile 8 and then fell off further all the way to a 8:36/mile on mile 13. Basically almost the whole race was positive splits. Obviously not what I had planned. Not to make excuses but the race did get ‘hot’ at the end with a lot of direct sunlight and above 70 degrees. Considering all my training runs were below 50s my body didn’t really appreciate the sudden change. Of course this is not like the South that always has weather above the 70s+ with 90% humidity! So I guess I can’t cry too much.
What did I learn?
- I need to incorporate more intervals at race speed or faster during training. I have done very little in training so I’m sure this will bring me to the next level.
- Increasing total weekly miles to build my base will help me lose further weight (still needing to lose 10-15lbs more) and will allow me to become a more efficient runner.
- Setting realistic goals that model my training should help me have the right mental framework for an upcoming race and increase confidence that my body is ready to hold or exceed the desired pace.
What’s next? After a rest of course, the plan now is to build my base mileage on morning runs up to around 80 miles per week. I’m around 30 miles right now so at 10% increase a week it will take a while but a gradual increase always help avoid injury. Also due to it getting hotter I plan to work on my 3 mile to 5k times and put in some speed workouts. I hope to PR at this distance and attain the goal of 3 miles in 18mins.
Learn from less than stellar performances and keep it moving …