I've never really raced a half marathon before and want to see what kind of time I can pull out for this one as it seems like it's a very flat and fast course. I had some good training over the weekend that I'd be remiss if I didn't let you all know about.
I had a long bike ride planned for Saturday that didn't really go quite as planned. I wanted to do a 56 mile loop around Canandaigua Lake and test out my fitness a bit, but it was a little windy out on Saturday. There were gusts of up to 30mph and for the majority of the ride I was gripping the handlebars for dear life. The descent into Naples was about the scariest thing I've done on a bike since I decided to vault my handlebars at IMLP last year. Honestly, my triceps hurt at the end of the ride because I was gripping so tight and jsut wrestling with the wind. I wanted to go 20+mph and that DEFINITELY did not happen. Oh well, on a positive note, that night I got a new uniform and dropped off the Beast and a bag of parts to Wil at TriSpot to have him piece together the puzzle that is the new bike!
This is the frameset that is going to be built for me. Turns out Wil squeaked a black one out of the folks at Cervelo and he will be throwing my parts on a bike to make it look like the one above. I'm pretty stoked that I kept all the "stock" parts from my bike after I've done upgrades over the last 3 years. Those stock parts are coming in handy now... I don't have a pic of my new duds yet, but will get one of those soon enough up here to let you all know what I'll be racing in.
But anyway, back to the training! On Sunday, I woke up and needed to do a 15-17 mile run on roads to get some pace work done in prep for Buffalo. I really wasn't feeling too hot having wrestled with the wind, climbed Bopple, (did I not mention that?....oh yeah that added to the stupidity of that ride) and been in the saddle for 3+ hours on Saturday. Needless to say my legs hurt a bit. Regardless, I went out and decided to run 3 loops of a 5 mile course I have from my apartment. It was a shorts and t-shirt kind of day and I brought a Gu with me as nutrition.
I hit the first loop in 30:00.8 and mentally rounded that to a 30:01. I was feeling tired and probably unable to hold the 6min/mile pace without a warmup (stupid yet again) so I backed off a little for the next loop. I came thru in 31:07 and it felt MUCH easier. That one translated to 6:13 miles and seemed a little slower. After that was done I decided it was time to take a gel, grab a quick swig of a water bottle I stashed under my car and rolled out for the 3rd loop. I didn't know what I was capable of, feeling quite blasted already, but wanted to really hammer this loop. My plan (I guess) was hammer/float/hammer. I came thru in 29:52 and finished with a very respectable time for 15 miles of 1:31:00. I was very pleased and struggled to get in 2 more miles of cool down at 7 minute pace making the final tally of the day 17 miles in 1:45, not too shabby.
I feel like that was a HUGE confidence booster for Buffalo and with proper rest and a quasi taper, I can be in good shape to hit my goals next weekend. They are as follows:
1. Run a race I am proud of, regardless of time or outcome
2. Run a sub 1:20:00 half mary (just having a time in the teens is solid)
3. Run a sub 1:18:41 (6:00/mile pace)
4. Run a sub 1:18:00 and place in the Age Group
5. Place in the top 10 or 5 overall. (strongly depends on who races)
That's it, I've published them, so lets see if I can pull it off next weekend. Should be a really good race and I'm stoked to see what I can hang on to in order to finish well. I'm stoked and this will be a really fun race with good support from TriSpot at the mile 9 water stop. Until thrn friends, as always, rest and train hard, listen to your body and I'll see you all out on the roads and trails, cheers.