May 1-7: race week
A good rule of thumb for training cycles is that there is no such thing as ideal conditions. This rule of thumb is a subspecies of that piece of wisdom frequently known as Murphy’s Law…
On Monday I did my last track workout of the training cycle: 6x(600m@8:30, 200@7:50) before the Providence Half Marathon on May 7.
On Tuesday I promptly fell sick with that unique above-the-neck rhinovirus called daycare grot, which mainly afflicts adult humans while leaving toddlers of the species snotty but completely unperturbed.
On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I felt like death warmed over.
On Saturday morning, I did a 20-minute shakeout run that confirmed I would survive the half marathon none the worse for wear but most definitely would not hit the aggressive stretch goal (1:50ish) that I’d trained for.
On Saturday afternoon we drove the hour to Providence and spent the afternoon at the Providence Children’s Museum. So much water play! So many things to see, and stairs to climb! So many puddles!
On Sunday morning I considered the weather (high of 68), the daycare grot I’d had all week (small children truly are delightful little plague vectors) and the gently rolling elevation profile, and downgraded my expectations.
My usual half-marathon strategy is: 5 miles easy to moderate effort, 5 miles moderate to hard, 3.1 miles ‘run like you’re being chased by a velociraptor’. Let’s just say I made it the first 10 miles (after an initial 2 miles too fast) and then would have been eaten. Nutrition and water were ok. Just a cold that lasted too long, plus one too many hills.
Here are some splits for your viewing pleasure.
1 – 8:23 (downhill)
2 – 8:31 (still moving too fast despite no longer actually going downhill)
3 – 9:08 (small hill – effort on target)
4 – 8:43
5 – 8:43 (hill)
6 – 8:38 (ramping up effort here)
7 – 8:47 (hill)
8 – 8:39
9 – 8:51
10 – 8:35
11 – 10:00 (the hill that broke the camel’s back)
12 – 9:30 (!)
13 – 9:08 (where is my ‘unimpressed’ emoji?)
.1 – 0.39
In the end, I finished in 1:56:22 (one second slower than PR – I’ll take it) and there were no velociraptors. This is a plus. We will not be doing the Jurassic Park Half Marathon anytime soon, thank you. There were donut holes at the finish, and frozen yogurt bars, and pizza, and bananas, and clementines — the usual array of delectables. The (now no longer snotty, as life is not fair) toddler ran the quarter-mile kids race with his dad, and then ran it again because the big kids were doing it. A grand time was had by all, especially the toddler, who was the beneficiary of all those donuts and clementines.
May 8-15: recovery from everything
I did zero running until Saturday, when I tested the waters and the limits of allergy season with a 1.5-mile jaunt, and then did 30 treadmill minutes on a rainy Sunday. For the next month I’ll be casual-running before marathon training begins in June!