The last two weeks of my training plan with Garmin Coach Amy have started, it is time to taper: reducing the training to ensure I arrive fresh and well-rested at the starting line. I adapted the plan a little, my longest runs were 16,5 and 17K instead of the much longer runs Coach Amy wanted me to do.
Today I’m doing another 1 mile time trial and I have a big goal. My current fastest mile is 10:05 minutes and that means I now feel the need to run it below 10 minutes. So, let’s give that a try.
As I’m running my warming up, I didn’t really notice it yet. Maybe I wasn’t close enough yet. My home town has a big cookie factory and it often fills the air with the smell of freshly baked cookies. That might sound nice, but I thought differently as I was pushing hard to run a mile faster as I ever did before.
The smell of cookies made me nauseous. I had to slow down twice, walked once. And I almost puked. So clearly, my PR didn’t happen today. I ran my mile in 10:21 minutes and then I slow jogged home, slightly disappointed.
Today’s run is a beautiful sunrise run. The skies kept changing color and gave me some pretty pink and red combinations. I took a lot of pictures and most of them failed, but I had fun chasing the sunrise.
In between and after the photo shoot I ran 4K at an average pace of 8:27 min/km.
Long easy run
Coach Amy’s taper plan got a little messed up, so I decided on my own to do 10-12K as my last longish run before race day. I planned a 12K route, put on my gear and left for my run. It’s about 12°C, but a lot more windy as I anticipated. I’m wearing shorts and a T-shirt and I’m cold. The first part of today’s route takes me through the forest and the wind is blowing all kinds of stuff around. Another strong gust of wind sends a whole batch of acorns towards me, but they miss me. I’m less lucky with the next gust, something hits my head. As I touch my head with my fingers, they turn purple. I’ve been hit in the head by a berry. Iewl.
Up next, a long stretch alongside the canal, this isn’t going to shield me from the wind much. It’s coming at me from the left and throwing of my stride. I keep wondering if I’ve passed the bridge that will finally take me away from the canal already. I couldn’t have passed it, does it even exist? Finally I see it coming up, I speed up towards the short hill that will take me to the bridge.
The next part will take me home, but I’m considering a shortcut. If I take the regular route it will be another 6K from here, if I turn right towards my shortcut, I skip about 2K and should end up at 10K. I’m cold, I don’t want to be here anymore. I don’t need to run further to be ready for my race. Am I cutting corners here? Maybe. I compromise and decide to take the shortcut, but run the rest of my easy run at goal pace. I’ll be home faster and might get a little warmer. Win-win!
I run the first 8K at around 8:45 min/km and the last 2K at 7:35 min/km, a bit faster as goal pace actually.
One of the shorter speed repeat sessions of the plan, ten repeats of 30 seconds at a fast pace with 30 second recoveries. I’m running the repeats through the neighborhood and I’m running them fast.
1. 5:39 min/km
2. 5:21 min/km
3. 5:04 min/km
4. 4:53 min/km
5. 5:43 min/km
6: 5:51 min/km
7. 5:00 min/km
8. 5:07 min/km
Well, that was only eight repeats. Why? It felt like enough. I told myself I felt a small niggle in my knee. No need to risk anything now, right? I have a meeting soon. Reasons enough, but I went home and felt good about it. I’m making a lot of compromises this week, but I’m believe the most important training has been done already, I’m just here to keep my legs moving and active. Everyone is different, but this feels like the right approach for me.
My last run before the race. I’m excited, but also a little afraid. What if I misstep? It’s fall, I know I’m able to sprain my ankle on those branches, what about that hole in the trail? I leave the trails and head back to the safe cycling lane. I set an end goal, turn around at the big tree and head back home. It ends up to be a slow and easy 3,3K run.
I ran my first half marathon 7 months ago in 2:51:35, still recovering from an ankle sprain and doing a run-walk-run routine to minimize the damage. But, it was an actual, real-live race. One of the last races, just before the lockdown started.
For Sunday’s race I have a goal of 2:45 in mind. In order to make that goal, I need to keep my average pace below 7:50 min/km, for a PB I need to run below 8:08 min/km and to reach the time goal I entered in my Garmin Coach plan I would need to run at 7:30 min/km. So, 7:30 min/km seems unreasonable to me so I’m making that the goal for my next half marathon. Yes, I said it, there will be a next. I have a race in mind, many races actually, but let’s see what’s going to happen with racing before I start planning.
First, I’m running this race. My race. I’m ready.