Road to my first half marathon – Final week

Race day is almost here! I’ve been preparing for my first half marathon with Garmin Coach for the last year and met a few bumps on the road, but I have done the training and my body and mind are ready for this challenge! I have followed the half marathon training plan with the guidance of Coach Greg for 15 weeks. I will be running that half marathon very soon. 

The question is only, when? The race I planned for, trained for and have registered for is this Sunday: Groet uit Schoorl Run. What I did not plan or train for is a little storm called Ciara. She’s due to arrive somewhere this Sunday and has promised to bring lots of rain and wind gusts of up to 140 km/h. Two weeks ago I wrote that my mom would be coming to watch me “if the weather isn’t too bad”. Unfortunately I think this qualifies as too bad weather. Let’s wait and see what the organization will say, but I’m pretty sure I know what my mom will say. 

Goal pace run

Today I’ve scheduled the goal pace run I should’ve done on Sunday. I was determined to run it on Monday morning and that helped me to finally get out of bed for my morning run on a Monday for the first time in weeks. I checked out this week’s schedule before I rescheduled this run and the plan for this week would’ve been two easy runs and one tempo run on Wednesday morning. I debated shortly between doing the tempo run or the goal pace run, but since I’m a newbie that still gets a little confused about goal paces I decided to do the goal pace run. I deleted the tempo run and replaced it with the easy run that was originally planned for today.

The plan said to do a warming up of 15 minutes, 15 minutes at goal pace, 5 optional minutes at goal pace and a 15 minute cooling down. With 10°C it’s warm a February morning at 6:30 in the morning, so I get to run in capri’s and a T-shirt. After about 5 minutes I’m warm enough to start the goal pace part and since I’m a little short on time I cut my warming up short. I start too fast, but quickly find my goal pace at 7:30 min/km and have no trouble keeping it up. I ran the first 15 minutes at an average pace of 7:29 min/km and speed up a little for the optional 5 minutes and run it at 7:13 min/km. This feels good and gives a little confidence boost for race day. Maybe I can keep this pace up for 21K?

Easy run

A 40 minute easy run according to Coach Greg, with 10 optional minutes. I decided not to run the optional part, but the route I took brought me home even faster as expected and I ended up running 27 minutes at an average pace of 8:08 min/km. I’m not too worried about missing a few minutes of running, I’d rather arrive rested to race day. 
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Easy run

Another short and easy run. Same schedule from Coach Greg as Wednesday, same route as well. I was a little faster today though, my legs kept going back to race pace and I really had to force myself to slow down a few times. I ran 26 minutes at an average pace of 7:58 min/km. And that’s it, the training plan is over. I’m excited about finishing the training plan and to conquer this race!
As I’m writing this neither me nor the organization has decided whether or not this race will happen. I’ve been checking the weather forecast every 30 minutes and it seems to be getting worse with every update. Since the race is about two hours from my home, I’m not only worried about the conditions during the race itself, but also about getting home safely afterwards. I have considered many options and alternatives, but this is the race I’ve been training for and if I can run it, I will! Fingers crossed!

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