When I ran this race last year, my goal was simply to finish, not to end up on the stragglers bus. Mission accomplished. I finished in 1:56:58, and I'm not sure I can do much better than that this year. In my half marathon I hit the 10-mile mark at roughly 2:05, but maybe with the added motivation that it's only 10 miles not 13.1, I can push myself a little bit harder.
I have only had time for three runs between my half marathon and now:
- Friday 3.68 miles, snail pace (I walked more than half of it. This was 6 days after my big race and only one day after my stomach flu, my body was not ready to run again.)
- Sunday 4.05 miles, 12:27 pace (I actually felt great here.)
- Tuesday 3.73 miles, 14:09 pace (That seems really lame, but I did choose the hilliest route in my neighborhood.)
Add in a few days on the elliptical and an afternoon yoga session, and here we are. Slightly underprepared but still excited for the race. Between those recent runs and my half marathon (13:05/mile overall pace), I am thinking I can average about the same pace on Sunday.
Knowing the race course helps a lot, because I know where I will be able to succeed and which areas will give me more problems. The plan is to take miles 1-3 at a normal pace; miles 4-6 a little easier with some walking (I'm moderately worried about my knees because this is where they started to feel like cement during my half marathon); and miles 6-10 normal/kick-it-into-gear pace. The last 4 miles of the race are around Haines Point and back to the Washington Monument/Finish Line area. I know this part of the course better than any other stretch in the DC metro area, I run it all the time. It's flat and wide and should be pretty easy. At least, I hope it seems pretty easy.
Subconsciously, I must be really excited about the race and expo. Last night I had a dream about the expo (which is downtown at the National Building Museum); I was shopping around and found a great purse at the Title Nine booth and called my friend Nicole to tell her all about it (I was envying her Title Nine bag just last weekend, so clearly Dream-Andrea needed to tell Dream-Nicole). Now, in real life, I have no idea is Title Nine will even be at the expo, but here's to hoping I find that purse from my dream. I'm either excited about the expo/race, or just really in the mood to find a new purse.
Today and tomorrow's goals: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Try to eat as normal/healthy as possible (only potential snafu is at the baby shower I'm attending tomorrow, but I'll try my best). Get enough sleep tonight and tomorrow night. Pick a race outfit and do all my usual race day prep.
Sunday's goals: Finish in under two hours. Have fun. Enjoy the course.
Runner friends, what is your philosophy on doing big/important races so close to each other? I know this type of milage wouldn't be a problem for some pros (cough, cough, Courtney and Christy, cough, cough), but these are big steps for me so I'm trying to be conscious of how my body feels and what it needs. And what it needs right now is lunch, so I'm off. Happy Friday!