Another week of training towards a faster half marathon, but the circumstances have changed. Against my better judgement I kept hope that the race I’m training for would go through, that they would find a way to make it happen safely. Unfortunately, that hope has gone. The announcement came this week that the race has been postponed with one year. I will run another half marathon on race day, but it will surely be different. A virtual half marathon.
After attempting a long run on Monday morning, I decide to take a rest day on Tuesday and be ready for my next time trial on Wednesday. No tired run this week.
After last week’s two 1 mile time trials, this week Coach Amy is shaking things up with a 5 minute time trial. I already registered three new PB’s with last week’s time trials, I’m hoping today will give me one more. I will be comparing this trial with the 5 minute benchmarks that start every Garmin Coach plan. My first benchmark I ran in January 2019 at an average pace of 7:15 min/km. Today’s time to beat is 5:59 min/km.
It’s a little colder as it was the last couple of days, just 9°C and cloudy. Perfect running weather! I’m running the 800 meter warming up into the forest, add a little extra and then turn around for the 5 minute at ‘best effort’ and the 800 meter cooling down will be a slow jog through my happy place, near the beginning of the forest.
I start the trial part of my run with a press on the lap button. Here we go! I’m aiming for a 5:50 pace and that starts of good. I’m able to keep an even pace and it’s actually helpful that I’m running back towards my house. Even though I don’t really know where the finish line is, I have a goal and its home! It’s only a 5 minute run, but I’m pushing myself hard. My pace falls back a little, but hopefully it will be enough. My watch starts beeping, telling me that the trial will be over in 5 seconds. That’s about all of a final sprint I have in me anyway. The lady in my ear tells me I ran this lap at an average pace of 5:58 min/km. Yes! Time beaten!
Today’s plan is a 4.83K run and I had every intention of doing that. It’s raining a little and about 14°C, but my legs just don’t want to move today. I’ve already taken a few walk breaks before I hit 1K and I need a new game plan if I don’t want to end up home by the time I make it to 2K. I turn left on a road that will lead me out of the forest again, but it will also cut me off from any shortcuts I can take from here. I needed that today. I run 3.6K at an average pace of 8:35 min/km.
After last week’s failed long run, I’m determined to make it happen today. I even moved up the training from Sunday to Saturday. The route is set, from last week’s attempt, but I’m running it in reverse today. Less shortcut possibilities which will force me to run at least 8K.
I head out and start my warming up. As I’m stretching a nice, older man I’ve seen on my runs a lot comes walking by and mentions the importance of stretching. He asks me how far I’m going today and I confidently tell him “13K”. I can tell he is or was a runner. I decide to ignore his remark about running being good for weight loss and head off with a smile.
It’s already hot and sunny out, but I’ve brought my Camelbak filled with 1 litre water to get me through. It takes awhile for me to find a comfortable pace that still keeps me in HR zone 2 today. It’s too hot for me and my heart rate keeps rising. Another walk break and I remind myself to start back slowly. About 4K into my route I find myself struggling a lot and I discover I was wrong. If I turn right here, I’ll home by 6K. No, no, no. Not today, not again. My determination wins and I turn left.
I’m slow today, very slow, but I don’t really mind. I’m keeping my heart rate low and I know today’s heat is affecting it a lot. I keep going, there are no shortcuts now for a long time, so I better get comfortable.
I’ve been running for about 1 hour and 20 minutes when the calculations in my head start again. If I continue my route as planned, I’ll be running for at least 1:45, that was not the plan. I quickly decide that this will mean I’d be too long on my feet compared to my previous long run. It would be too big of an increase, even though I’m going much slower today and the increase isn’t that big looking at distance alone.
The decision is made, I’m taking the next shortcut possibility home. I’m shortly disappointed in myself, but I’m sure this is the right decision. There is enough time to increase my distance, it’s okay for now.
Coach Amy planned 12,84K for me, I ran 10,5K at an average pace of 9:05 min/km. So, that’s 1:35 on my feet.
A true tired/recovery run today. I’m heading towards the trails in the forest and taking a few different turns then usual. It’s nice to see the paths from a different angle and I even found a trail I hadn’t run before. My legs are feeling tired though from yesterday’s long run, so halfway in my run I decide to trade the trails for the asphalt and head back home in a comfortable pace.
I ran 5.3K at an average pace of 8:46 min/km.
I’m very happy with my progress over the last week. I set another PB and finally managed a half decent long run. Something to build up on.